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Friday, August 25, 2017

Amanda Panda Quits Kindergarten, written by Candice Ransom and illustrated by Christine Grove. Doubleday Books, Penguin. 2017. $t23.99 ages 5 and up

"And she cannot wait to start

When she gets to school, she
will print her name in big,
important letters on the board so the whole class will know who she is. Next, she will build the tallest block tower. Finally, she will run the fastest of anyone."

Amanda is not necessarily the kind of kindergartener the class is happy to welcome. She knows just exactly who she is and that is who she wants to be. She knows what she likes, and what she can do. She is keen to be starting kindergarten. But, things go slightly awry.

"At the bus stop is a girl in head-to-toe pink.
So much pink gives Amanda a headache.
Amanda claims the seat behind the bus driver
so she can watch him steer.
Something very pink sits beside her."

Amanda is not as adept at friendship as Bitsy. So, she ignores Bitsy at every turn during a trying morning. Amanda knows better, but she lets her negative thoughts envelop her. Soon, she is done with kindergarten and off to spend the day with her brother in second grade. OOPS! Big mistake ... nothing there works for her.

Luckily, someone has come to find Amanda. Someone who is now lost and frightened. Amanda knows just what to do!

"It does not hurt one bit to be kind.
And second grade can wait."

Listeners will love the contrasting characters and the classroom/school atmosphere created in appealing artwork.

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