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In spite of numerous reform efforts, higher standards, twelve years under Democrats and eighteen under Republicans, th... More

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Author: Peter Parente

Illustrator: Aleksey Ivanov

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Publisher: Tree of Life Publishing,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Boomer, a lavender skunk, is worried about the first day of school. His worst fears come true when the school bully says he's not allowed to play with them. When Boomer gets the chance to show his special qualities, others stop and take notice. This is a story that reminds kids about the pitfall of judging others.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, playtime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 8; read yourself: 9 to 11

Interest Level: 3 to 7

Age of Child: Started reading with 3-year-old child.

Young Reader Reaction: S/He loved it right away, especially Boomer's lavender coloring. We were asked to read this one several times in a row, for several days running.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is a sweet story. Predictable, but cute. The author creates a great way for parents to talk with their kids about their fears, which likely mirror Boomer's: school, being made fun of, and feeling left out.

Pros: The illustrations are bright, perfect for engaging a preschooler and kindergartener. The story has "lessons" on several levels.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. This story will have value for a long time. It will assuage fears and affirm self-esteem in different ways at each of the different ages in the target audience.

If You Liked This Book, Try: MORRIS GOES TO SCHOOL (I Can Read Book Series, Level 1)   FROGGY LEARNS TO SWIM   TOO MANY MURKLES

Educational Themes: The focus for this story is Boomer and his feelings, and there is plenty to work with. When you read the back, you can learn more about organizations that help animals.

Literary Categories: Fiction - animal characters, picture book, emotions, multicultural

Date(s) Reviewed: March 2005

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