I am so excited that BookSpeak! Poems About Books is a Finalist for the children’s category of the Minnesota Book Awards. The reason any kind of honor or award is wonderful is that you respect the judgment and choices of the committee making the choices. So this week, I thought I’d share the other three Finalist books in my category–terrific books, every one of them! (Yesterday, I featured Friends, by Catherine Thimmesh.) This month is Readers’ Choice voting, too, so go vote for your favorite!
I love the narrator of The Last Day of Kindergarten, by Nancy Loewen. She loved the year so much, she wants to do it all over again! I can really relate to her year-end melancholy. Although I loved summers, I was always sad to see the school year end, both as a kid and as a teacher.
She imagines reliving the year, and we get to relive it with her, with details like losing her first tooth in Sammy McGregor’s birthday cupcake and having pointy, new crayons. But instead it’s the last day, and Mrs. Popinski leads the class in brainstorming what they’re looking forward to about summer: sprinklers, blue raspberry ice pops, etc. And what they’re excited about for first grade, like the big kids’ playground and eating lunch in the cafeteria. The book ends with kindergarten graduation and a joyous scene of celebration.
What a lovely book that really captures both the excitement and melancholy of the end of the school year as well as the constant series of other beginnings and endings kids have to adjust to.