8/24/07

Wow! School! And My Afternoon At Barnes And Noble


I read a new children’s picture book entitled, WOW! School, in Barnes and Noble today. I rode with my mother after lunch to the book store, because she had to get some paperbacks for the library. Every year when school starts the library needs more children’s classics in paperback. Therefore, while she went to get the books she needed, I went in the children’s section. The children’s section at Barnes and Noble is one of my favorite places in the world. I ran/walked to the little “barn” bookshelf and stared in wonderment at the miraculous books lining the barnyard wall haystack, or bookcase. I wonder why Barnes and Noble have a model of a barn for the main bookcase? In addition to the barnyard theme, they don’t have a new release bookshelf anywhere in the store and when I asked the little children people who work there, they looked at me like they weren’t sure what I meant. Although they were nice enough sales people, and I think Barnes and Noble is fantastic, I felt as if I were in a time capsule and asked a dumb question. It was as if it I asked an outdated question, a question that would have been popular long ago or at a different time.

However, it doesn’t matter if the children’s book section at Barnes and Noble isn’t doing things the way I think they should. Since it’s still one of my favorite places in the world, and I’m plus I'm not running the department anyway. I’m just researching children’s titles for my manuscripts and A Nice Place In The Sun, so why should I care? I guess because it’s my home away from home, and I think I have the right to decorate what goes on in the book store.

Anyway, after I got over my astonishment at all the wonderful picture book titles they have on the market now, I saw Wow! School, one of the newly published books I've wanted to read. I found myself a spot at a small table in the next to a little girl and a lady with whom she wasn't related, and began to read Wow! School. I wanted to write an unofficial book review, or I guess I should say a book suggestion on the title.

Everyone's first day of school is one of the scariest things we will experience in our lives. I know school already has started in most areas, but Wow! School will still help children adjust to their school days. The first page begins with the beginning of a school day and the rest of the pages take you through different times and activities throughout a typical school day. A great conversation starter after your children start school as well, to find out how school is coming along for them, and give them an opportunity to ask questions. When I read to my son it often provided an opportunity for a conversation about the subject or theme of what book we were reading, and Wow School seemed like a good example.

It’s a big book with extremely colorful and descriptive illustrations showing everything happening in a classroom in just two pages. The illustrations stretch across a two-page spread, so you have to turn the book sideways to read it but it's fun. The book depicts a multicultural theme with big bold images of everything in an ideal classroom, bookcases lined with books, desks with kids behind them taking part in numerous activities. It even shows details of children with their art work on easels, and other art supplies, and books with small titles written on the front. There is a lot to look at but it’s not busy, and again, it encourages conversation while you look into the pictures of what happens inside a school.

Wow! School! follows an entire school day with the perfect amount of text and descriptive illustration to tell a lively and fun story. You open the first page to the beginning of the day, and the second page to a gigantic picture of the teacher and four students, with detailed items in the classroom in the background. Then turn the page to reading time in another double spread illustration, with the image of the teacher sitting on a rug with her students. All of the illustrations have one to six words of text on the outside of the illustration and around the border of the page instead of directly on it. It is great fun, so if you have small children in school go by Barnes and Noble, the library, or shop online but read Wow! School! I think you and your children will enjoy it, and so did the little girl who sat at the reading table with me.

Robert Neubecker (Author)Publisher: Hyperion (June 15, 2007)Ages Baby-Preschool

2 comments:

Christy said...

That sounds like a great book for kids, I know my little daughter would love this one. I can almost see you in that bookstore! Ann, I swear you should have had ten kids! I can see you being happy surrounded by children! Great review:)

Blog Author Ann Clemmons said...

Christy, That is the best compliment I've ever received. I'm not kidding I really believe it is. You have great intuition about people, it's amazing. You pinpointed me perfectly in my writers voice. It's so impressive. I woke up thinking about how I needed to rewrite this review because I wrote it quickly.(I didn't want to forget anything)

I will never forget this comment. Children are my greatest passion and I hope to have ten grandchildren! :) You are such a nice person Christy. That kind of comment whether in person are over the internet has the propensity to profoundly effect someones outlook on life. I will carry this compliment for a long time. You must be a remarkable mother.

Thanks- Ann

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