Mom, It’s My First Day of Kindergarten!
Hyewon Yum. FSG/Foster, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-374-35004-8
Anxieties can make anyone feel small and blue, and that’s exactly how Yum (The Twins’ Blanket) portrays a worried mother whose son is readying for his first day of kindergarten. “What if you don’t have time to finish your sandwich at lunch?” she asks, barely tall enough to peer her blueberry-tinged face over the edge of the table at her full-size son, who clearly can’t wait for the big day to start. “We don’t know anyone here. I miss your old teachers and your friends,” she says later, looking forlorn and tiny at the front steps of the school, which her son climbs with the canny look of a seasoned pro. Is Mom really as worried as she looks—or is the boy projecting his fears onto her in order to maintain his persona as a confident “big boy”? Although some readers may suspect the latter—especially when the boy has his own brief blue period at the kindergarten threshold—Yum isn’t telling. And therein lies the joy of this inventively styled, deeply empathic book. Ages 4–7. Agent: Sean McCarthy, Sheldon Fogelman Agency. (July)