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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

You're Wearing THAT to School? Written by Lynn Plourde and illustrated by Sue Cornelison. Disney Hyperion, Hachette. 2013. $17.99 ages 5 and up

"I'll pack a picnic."

"You're going to eat THAT?"

"Yes, I love picnics."

"What will everyone think?
Come on." Tiny tugged.
"I'll help you pack a
perfect lunch."

Our teachers are back in school today, and their students will return tomorrow or Thursday. Hard to believe that the summer has slipped past us so quickly! I'm sure, as always happens, there will be relief in getting back to routines and joy in meeting up with friends in bright, fall classrooms. We can only hope that you all get a Penelope (or some facsimile of her) in each of your classrooms.

Penelope has all the self-confidence that I wish every child had! She has a distinctive style as well, and a good friend in Tiny. Tiny has some experience, having started school a year earlier. In doing so, he has also acquired a sense of caution about 'fitting in.' So, when Penelope announces that she is going to wear her sparkle rainbow outfit for the first day, Tiny offers assistance:

"You're going to wear THAT?" Tiny asked.
"Yes! It's my favorite." Penelope giggled.
"Everyone will stare. Come on." Tiny tugged.
"I'll help you find a perfect outfit."

Tiny has the best intentions. He doesn't want Penelope's school experience to be sad when she is anticipating such great joy. Everything she tries on gets his immediate negative reaction. His suggestions change Penelope's demeanor at every turn...clothes, lunch, even show-and-tell. At the bus stop in the morning, Tiny realizes that his advice has fallen on deaf ears. Tiny worries. Penelope does not. For good reason on her part....

If you know Olivia, The Paper Bag Princess, Ella Sarah, Pippi, Molly Lou Melon, Lily, Madlenka, Camilla Cream, Chrysanthemum or Lilly, please ask them to save a seat on the bus for Penelope. She will be so pleased to meet them and make their days better, too!

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