Neil Gaiman & Adam Rex,
Chu's First Day of School
(Harper, 2014)

Chu, the little panda with the big sneeze, is back.

So, too, are his writer, Neil Gaiman, and his illustrator, Adam Rex. They've sent their goggled creation off to his first day at school, where he worries that the other kids won't like him.

He sits quietly on his stool, his eyes wide and wondering, as the other children -- a giraffe, a monkey, etc. -- introduce themselves and describe something cool that they can do. And what, the teacher finally asks, can Chu do?

Well, anyone who read Chu's Day already knows the answer. His teacher and classmates are about to find out.

Chu's First Day of School is, like Chu's Day, a simple tale that lends itself well to a dramatic reading out loud. Gaiman once again shares the message that a small deed can make a big difference and slips in a subtle hint about acceptance. And Rex again provides lovely, adorable illustrations that pop from the page.

Chu makes a great friend for youngsters too wee to read or just starting out with their first books. Highly recommended.

book review by
Tom Knapp

18 October 2014

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