Title: Annabelle Swift, Kindergartner
Author: Amy Schwartz
Illustrator: Amy Schwartz
Publisher: Orchard Books
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Number of Pages: 28
Pub. Date: 1988
Summary: Annabelle Swift is a character who is getting ready for her first day of kindergartener. Her sister gives her some bad advice, like the fact that ‘red’ is actually ‘Raving Scarlet’ like her mother’s lipstick color, and we find out that she loves to count. She goes off to face that exciting, terrifying first day of school. Like many kindergarteners, she feels that the whole day is going wrong. All the advice her sister gave her causes her embarrassment. It is only when she is able to use her strong counting skills that the day begins to look better. She is able to count all of the milk money on the first day of school, giving her the special job of Milk Monitor, which she completes proudly.
Critique: This work of realistic fiction fits in as a school and family story. It shows the relationship between Lucy and Annabelle, but also focuses on Annabelle’s first day of school. It’s about Annabelle finding out who she is as a Kindergarten student and showcases her struggle for peer acceptance when she’s embarrassed when all of the children except one laugh at her. The author writes so that the reader feels empathy for Annabelle and engages readers so that they care about how Annabelle’s day goes. The characters are realistic and the setting of a kindergarten classroom is something that many children either will experience or have experienced. The character of her know-it-all sister is given just the right amount of sassiness as an older sibling trying to impress everyone by making her little sister smart and Mr. Blum, the kindergarten teacher, also comes across as believable. Through realistic fiction, this story encourages children to focus on their strengths when facing the challenges of the first day of school.
Response: The author of the book tells me that Annabelle is all by herself on the beanbags with everyone else looking at her. It makes me sad that she is all by herself and makes me think that maybe her kindergarten day isn’t going to go so well. I predict that this will be a good book to read to Preschoolers who may be nervous about going into Kindergarten.
Math: Luscious Lollipops
Divide the class into groups of three. Give each group a bag of lollipops (with various colors). Have the children count to see how many of each color lollipop are in the bag. Next, have each group report their findings to form a class chart. Use the chart to answer various questions (Which color has the most lollipops? The Fewest? What's the difference between these two numbers? How many lollipops all together?,etc.)