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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Adventure Annie Goes to Kindergarten, written by Toni Buzzeo and illustrated by Amy Wummer. Dial, Penguin. 2010. $21.00 ages 4 and up

"I give her my Adventure
Annie thumbs-up.
I squizzle back to my room
and tuck my zookeeper hat,
my high wire slippers,
and my walkie-talkies into my
backpack -
just in case."

Annie is not concerned about her first day at kindergarten...she knows adventure awaits around every corner. The uncertainty comes in determining just what kind of experience it will afford. Mommy tries to keep a lid on the excitement by explaining that kindergarten may not be like any other venture she has had.

""Sometimes," Mommy says,
"kindergarten is its own adventure."
I give her the Adventure Annie thumbs-up."

Off they trek to school and Annie's first meeting with her teacher, Mr. Todd. Annie's enthusiasm leads her to her first meeting with her classmates. She is quick to introduce herself. When circle time comes and Mr. Todd sits to explain the Kindergarten Gold Star Rules, Annie is anxious. She wonders when the adventure is going to begin.

Her gregarious nature soon has her in a bit of trouble with the teacher, who reminds her about the rules set out for everyone to follow. As she goes about her day, everything in her back pack becomes part of her search for a Gold Star adventure.  After inadvertently breaking several rules with no loss of  zeal, Annie settles to try and earn the gold star she covets.

Afternoon snack time offers an opportunity to prove she is reliable; but Mr. Todd chooses others to fetch the milk. When they don't return, he sends Annie in search of them. Inside voice intact and walkie-talkie in hand, she is off to find the wayward monitors, searching every nook and cranny of the school as she goes. Her crusader cape helps her track them down and return to the classroom with milk and monitors in tow. Bravo, Annie!

Any kindergarten teacher will recognize Annie in one, or more, of their students over the year. This winning team brings her to clear and ebullient life right before our eyes. She is a force to be reckoned with, and makes her mark from the very first day!

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