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May 23 2014

My First Day at School By Meridith Costain and Michelle Mackintosh- Book Review

My First Day at School by Meridith Costain and Michelle Mackintosh- Book Review

My first Day at SchoolMy First Day at School highlights the activities and adventures of four children Zack, Amira, Zoe and Ari, experiencing their very first day at school. These children all have very different personalities, wants, needs and desires. It brings together the different experiences and the effects on how each child copes with change in the different parts of their first day.
It cleverly identifies children’s thoughts and what they are feeling in a balanced versatile approach. It is fabulous how the author Meridith Costain opens up the dialogues between children’s way of thinking, intertwining the whole experiences with both positive and negative feelings. This linked with the unique layout and design incorporated to reflect a classroom. The pictures, the visual prompts and simplicity highlighting words, simple but effect, very easy for the reader to engage with the story. Especially supporting children, who cannot read to benefit from the visual clues on each page – such a clever design!
Some of the highlights include children thoughts –“She tells me to hold hands with Kevin but I don’t want to, Kevin has frog hands!”. “What if I can’t do it? “What if my scissors slip and make a mess? Identifies sometimes teachers asking children to do things that they feel is right and children disagreeing.
This simple yet funny and clever way the author has bought in the fun and engagement in the story. When Mrs Mellor draws a picture of herself and the forward thinking of how the teacher engages their interest as a group. The quirky illustrations and unique characters bring a mixture of ‘real’ pictures combined with animation and sequence to the text to clearly engage our young readers in a way they can identify. Written text throughout the book helps children to develop structure in their writing.
As each part of the day played out as separate notes of events the story line unfolds with the vibrant combination of visuals that you can see and feel just how these children were coping and feeling inside. My First Day at School could easily be used as a book to support all teachers to reflect on the way they support children entering school for the first time, therefore lending itself to a useful resource as a part of their professional development in working with children. From a teachers perspective it makes you reflect on your practice and the way we ask children to complete tasks sometimes without the full empathy it requires.

See Robbie Rules My First Day At School

Title: My First Day at School
Author: Meredith Costain
Illustrator: Michelle Mackintosh
Publisher: Ford Street Publishing
Publication Date: December 2013
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 97891922081254
For ages: 4+
Type: Picture Book

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