Jane Porter (text) and Carolina Rabei (illustrator), Let’s Get Ready for School, Walker Books, July 2021, 32 pp., RRP $16.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781529502343
Let’s Get Ready for School is a great introduction to this important step in our little ones’ lives—going to big school—and this book is a lovely way to get them mentally ready for the adventure ahead. Jane Porter has carefully included a range of emotional responses likely to be present in the children from the natural nervousness of some, the can’t-wait-to-get-there excitement of others, and those who are a little cautious. She has included a wide range of activities that school provides with academic based subjects, physical sports and social interaction represented. Porter also introduces the teacher and asks youngsters how they think their new teacher may be feeling as they welcome new children to their classroom. This is a lovely insight into the whole-of-classroom dynamic.
Every page is a visual delight with the brightly coloured illustrations of Carolina Rabei bringing life and vigour to the images of children at play and in school. All pages have multiple pictures that relate perfectly to the text and depict the mix of children – some happy, some keen, some a bit slower to get ready for school and then there are the shy ones.
Jane Porter and Carolina Rabei have taken particular care to ensure the book is inclusive in both text and illustration by using multiculturally-specific names for the children, talking about different languages that may be spoken and showing physical differences as well – all of which will happily blend into the framework of the classroom and school.
This excellent read-out-loud and early reader, Let’s Get Ready for School is a great conversation starter. There is plenty to talk about from the various visual clues and engaging text. This book is delightful in its paperback form, which is the one I have reviewed here, and just the right size for youngsters to read in bed or to be read to that dear child cuddled up on your lap.
Reviewed by Jennifer Mors