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School's First Day of School

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  3,492 ratings  ·  593 reviews
It's the first day of school at Frederick Douglass Elementary and everyone's just a little bit nervous, especially . . . the school. ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published June 28th 2016 by Roaring Brook Press
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jennyreadit I read it aloud to kindergarten kids all the way up to 5th graders. I just made my book introduction a little different to suit the age. For example, …moreI read it aloud to kindergarten kids all the way up to 5th graders. I just made my book introduction a little different to suit the age. For example, with the kinders, I told them I was going to read them a story about a school being nervous for its first day. For the fifth graders, I likened it to having friends and showing compassion.(less)
Nora Scholl Yes, it's an anthropomorphized school who is reacting to his first day of school. …moreYes, it's an anthropomorphized school who is reacting to his first day of school. (less)

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Average rating 4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,492 ratings  ·  593 reviews

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Dave Schaafsma
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
Update: First day of school for kids in this house, 8/23/17!

Each year I and my family read and rate all the Goodreads picture book nominees. This one is nominated for 2016. I make a few comments and then add their separate ratings and a comment. There's 15 and this is the third being rated. My rating might be somewhat influenced by the family, naturally.

In this one, the school building is a character, and it's a new school, Frederick Douglas Elementary, that talks with the janitor, learning it a
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Won't somebody please think of the children school?

How does he feel to be crammed full of noisy children and teachers all day? Will he get embarrassed if his fire alarm goes off? And, what about those kids who say they hate school? How do you think that makes him feel?

Find out the answers to all these questions in Adam Rex's delightfully clever book.
Christian Robinson provides the cheery illustrations.

Aug 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I adore this book! Please please please let it be a series and let the next volume be the library!!
Aug 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture
Fun read aloud for the first day of school. Would be awesome to have the janitor come read it ... but they are always super busy.
Sep 26, 2017 rated it liked it
I think its so cool for kids..
Jul 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I just want to hug this school!
May 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is part of my 365 Kids Books challenge. For a fuller explanation see my review for 101 Amazing Facts about Australia You can see all the books on their own shelf. The Reviewers seemed to run correctly last week, but didn't run this week at all, and the Readers list hasn't been fixed at all. I guess algorithm don't care. Looking at the beta pages, algorithm loves stars.

The heartwarming story of two good friends: School and Janitor and the first day of school. I like Robinson's work a lot. Fo
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Over the summer, a school was built. The school liked its name, Frederick Douglass Elementary. It liked the quiet summer days with just the janitor who warned the new school that soon it would be full of children. But the school wasn’t sure that it liked the idea of children! And when they did arrive, there were so many of them. They went everywhere. Some children didn’t like being at school, and one little freckled girl in particular caught the school’s attention. As the day went on though, the ...more
Nov 16, 2015 added it
Shelves: picturebooks
So sweet and spot-on... I cannot think of a better book for beginning school. Wonderful.
Jun 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: school, picture
Cute. An unusual approach to reassuring kids nervous about the first day of school.
Feb 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for 'First Day of School' Picture-Books
The newly-constructed Frederick Douglas Elementary School looks forward to the start of the school year with trepidation in this engaging, warmhearted take on a classic childhood concern. Will he like being filled with children, even if they get everywhere and make messes? How will he react when some of the children don't like him? In the end, despite some initial tensions - an embarrassing accidental fire-alarm, a sad little girl who declares her dislike of school - he eventually decides that b ...more
Gary Anderson
Aug 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you're looking for a first-day-of-school read-aloud, look no further. School's First Day of School is the story of the first day of a brand new school told from the personified point of view of the building known as Frederick Douglass Elementary. Everyone, including the building, is a little nervous about opening day, and that anxiety is expressed in different ways, some positive and some not so positive. As School's First Day of School engages the imagination and promotes empathy, many stude ...more
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A hundred stars.

This is the kind of book I want to hug—it's so smart and layered and inventively well written. The inclusion of the Janitor character is brilliant and the way the school's experience mirrors that of a child attending a new school year is, as has been noted, perfect. But there's more than that too. This is a book that affirms school itself. That it's a place that matters, where we learn new things, where we feel nervous and sometimes bored or unhappy, where we laugh and come out o
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Delightful. Honest and authentic. A good lesson in empathy, presented obliquely so it doesn't seem didactic. Could also be used a model for a Creative Writing exercise.

I wish the funny joke was included, instead of just mentioned.

And I liked that the teacher said "Don't tell anyone, but I think it's the best." ( It's tough to encourage talent without showing favorites, but necessary because we need our most talented kids to continue to strive rather than settling for mediocrity.)

This book will
Ashleigh Rose
Aug 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
First day of school read aloud - had to fight the tears. :)
Maria Marshall
Aug 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-picture
An interesting new twist on the first day of school. How does a new school feel about the kids and their activities?
Sep 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Fantastic for back to school next year and it got the seal of approval from year 2 classes.
Stefanie Kellum
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Clever book about school jitters told from the perspective of the school itself. So, so cute.
Jennifer Worrell
Apr 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I'm starting to think Rex is a genius. A story told from the POV of a school is creative enough on its own. But when the school tells the janitor, "I thought this was your house", I thought, that really *is* what a school would think. I was fully immersed in the world of an inanimate object, and loved every minute. I don't want to give this one back to the library, but I don't want the building to get a bad impression of me. ...more
Jul 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Looking for a book to read on the first day of school? This may be a good choice! Told from the point of view of a brand new school, we see the fear and trepidation of a first experience at school? Is anyone going to like me? Am I going to like this experience? Readers will find it is ok to be nervous, but interesting things happen on the first day of school.

Adam Rex has told a great story and Christian Robinson illustrates it beautifully. You will probably spend more time looking and talking ab
Sep 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Frederick Douglass Elementary is a brand new school, and he's just as nervous as the kids when he opens his doors for the first time. There's some adjustments to make (even buildings can make mistakes with their fire alarms on the first day), but eventually the school and the kids start getting used to each other. A wise and friendly janitor helps School understand things.

An original new take on the back-to-school story. I think both author and illustrator really capture all the emotions neatly.
Apr 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ther first day in a new school is not only scary for children, but the structure as well. The story surrounds a school as 'he' goes through the process of learning how nerves can soon turn to glee, given the time. The school learns that he is able to provide support for the inhabitants and get through Day One with only a few glitches. Neo liked it and asked if his school (new this past September) felt the same way. I asked him to talk to it when next he was there (but perhaps whisper and only wh ...more
An original, clever, and very sweet story with colorful, playful, and simple illustrations:

Nadine Jones
Sep 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
So much fun! Poor school, so confused, so unsure! This would be the perfect book to read to a nervous Kindergartner (or first grader ... or second grader ...).

The art is very basic, but perfectly complements the story.

Full disclosure: I read this to my high school senior, and she said it was just okay.
Jillian Heise
This was great - I see why everyone has been raving about it. Perfect start of the school year read aloud!
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classroom-reads
Cute personification of a brand new school building.
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a freakin' delight. Also, a very good burn on kids' naming trends. ...more
Jul 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Lots of back-to-school picture books are the same. The child is nervous for their first day of school, but then everything turns out alright in the end and school isn't so bad. The end. But THIS book is unique because, instead of being from the perspective of a child going to school on the first day, the story is told from the perspective of the SCHOOL’S first day!

Fredrick Douglass Elementary School is a little worried when the janitor tells it that children will be coming. It isn’t so sure it
Richie Partington
Dec 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks, a-list
Richie’s Picks: SCHOOL’S FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL by Adam Rex and Christian Robinson, ill., Roaring Brook, June 2016, 40p., ISBN: 978-1-59643-964-1

“I remember and I’ll always treasure
Schooldays were the happiest days of your life
But we never appreciate the good times we have
Until it’s too late
I miss all the acquaintances we made
And I’d go back if I could find a way”
-- The Kinks “Schooldays” (1975)

“‘This is nice,’ the school said to Janitor. ‘Just the two of us.’
“‘Won’t be just us for long,’ said Jani
Jul 01, 2016 added it
Probably at one time or another you've walked into a room thinking to yourself or aloud, "if these walls could talk" what tales would they tell? From a historical perspective think of the unknowns which would be revealed. On a more personal level if the walls had the ability to speak; perhaps we would locate missing items much more quickly.

Most educators in my circle of colleagues leave their classrooms prior to summer break ready for the first day in September when classes resume. New colorful
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Adam Rex grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, the middle of three children. He was neither the smart one (older brother) or the cute one (younger sister), but he was the one who could draw. He took a lot of art classes as a kid, trying to learn to draw better, and started painting when he was 11. And later in life he was drawn down to Tucson in order to hone his skills, get a BFA from the University of Ar ...more

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