Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
Kindergarten Luck

Kindergarten Luck

Fall 2015 Picture Books
Ages: 3 - 5 yrs.
Author: Louise Lewin Borden
Illustrator: Genevieve Godbout
Publisher: Chronicle Books
ISBN: 9781452113944
Hardcover Price: $16.99

Theodore has a stroke of luck one morning; he finds a penny face up on his way downstairs for breakfast, and keeps it in his pocket all day at kindergarten. Sure enough, one nice thing after another happens. He knows the answers in his math lesson, he manages to hit the tetherball during recess, and he gets to be line leader. Even the weather cooperates and turns sunny. But what should Theodore do about his friends? Don't they deserve to find a bit of luck, too?

This cheerful story is more or less the reverse of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Everything that can possibly go right for Theodore does, and thus the story is fairly conflict-free. It nevertheless provides an entertaining and gently humorous journey through a single day in kindergarten, evoking some of the things that might go wrong (even though they don't). Another day, someone else will get to show the class the month and date on the big calendar. Another day, it will rain during recess … but not today, not for Theodore. Genevieve Godbout's bright, charming illustrations bring life to Theodore's classmates, who aren't having as good a day; attentive young readers perusing the illustrations are likely to take great interest in the child picking his nose with his pencil during math, the child sticking out his tongue in line, and the child misbehaving on the bus. As is too often the case in picture books, the protagonist and his sister are white, while characters of color are relegated to the background or to secondary roles. Nevertheless, many young children are likely to enjoy this depiction of a school day's hopes and anxieties.

Naomi Lesley   ©2015 Parents' Choice
Naomi Lesley taught middle and high school English for six years. She is currently in a doctoral program at the George Washington University, focusing on American young adult literature.

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