First Day Critter Jitters

Author: Jory John Illustrator: Liz Climo

Publisher: Dial Books

Release Date: July 7/20

Reviewer: Laurie

Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss + for a digital copy of this book.

Always on the look out for new books for back to school, I first heard about this delightful book from friends @Lbookends (Mary and Steph) on Twitter and knew I needed to read this book for myself.

All the animals are heading back to school, but everyone is nervous for their own particular reason related to a characteristic of the animal – all emotions that not only the animals are feeling, but children and yes, adults. Mole is afraid he won’t be able to read, snake can’t get his backpack on, sloth is worried about being late, rabbit has too much energy, and yes, even the teacher is nervous.

When Mr. Sherwood their armadillo teacher confesses that he is nervous about being forgetful and is worried about remembering names and the last thing he said, all of the animal students band together and decide they all can help one another. As their first day continues, we get to see everyone becoming more relaxed and celebrating goals, working and playing together.

Liz Climo’s illustrations add to the worries and the joy of that first day back with a variety of layouts and realistic drawings of a variety of different animals and the outline shapes with adequate white space draw readers into the characters or the specific scene.

Another unique way for readers young and old to acknowledge various fears about a first day of school or a first day of anything and how when we face our fears and work together, things go better. A great addition for classrooms of all grades and libraries.

OTHER BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR: Bad Seed, Good Egg, Cool Bean, Couch Potato (Nov 3), Giraffe Problems

OTHER BOOKS BY THIS ILLUSTRATOR: The Little World of Liz Climo, Please Don’t Eat Me, You’re Mom: A Little Book for Mothers (And the People Who Love Them)

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED:K-8