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School's First Day of School

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  3,191 ratings  ·  555 reviews
It's the first day of school at Frederick Douglass Elementary and everyone's just a little bit nervous, especially . . . the school.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published June 28th 2016 by Roaring Brook Press
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JennE 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)

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Average rating 4.19  · 
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 ·  3,191 ratings  ·  555 reviews

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David 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.

Sep 26, 2017 rated it liked it
I think its so cool for kids..
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.
Jul 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I just want to hug this school!
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: picture, school
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
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.
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 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
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.
An original, clever, and very sweet story with colorful, playful, and simple illustrations:

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.
Richie Partington
Dec 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
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
Nov 12, 2016 rated it liked it
First sentence: That summer, they dug up the big field, and poured the foundation, and set brick on top of brick until they'd built a school. A sign above the door read, FREDERICK DOUGLASS ELEMENTARY. "That's a good name for me," thought the school.

Premise/plot: If schools could talk, what would they say? Adam Rex gives us his answer to this question in SCHOOL'S FIRST DAY. Will school like the students and teachers? Will school yearn for the days when it was just the two of them--the school and
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
First of all, illustrator Christian Robinson is my new favorite! I loved him in Last Stop on Market Street and I love him here! His illustrations are so colorful and capture the heart of his audience...reminding me of another one of my favorites, Ezra Jack Keats. Keats captured the heart of his audience too! He understood kids in the same way that Christian Robinson does too. Color...color...color!!

Has there ever been a "Back to School" book written from the perspective and v
Alina Slobodyanyuk
School’s First Day of School was a delightful read! This is a great book that can teach many lessons to children of all ages. This low fantasy personifies a school building. The school building is brand new and has no idea what to expect on the first day of school. The building is quiet nervous. Do children like the school? Why are some of them scared? Why are they using all his things? The school has a couple ups and downs on the first day, but ultimately he really enjoyed it! The questions and ...more
Jim Erekson
Dec 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
A couple of funny point-of-view moments (such as the school getting embarrassed when its fire alarm goes off) weren't enough. The jokes and the interesting point of view kept it from being a 2. Please no more first day of school books--especially not among the Caldecott contenders! I get that this is a fun topic for school teachers and maybe some parents, but gads. It's not a genre. It's another situation where editors who talk at SCBWI meetings and professional conferences say they don't want t ...more
Mary Fletcher
I thought this would be good to read to my 4-year-olds that will be starting a new year of preschool next week. Nope! Not appropriate for kids that haven't been introduced to the idea that some people do not like school. I skipped a bunch, like these two pages in a row:

Some of the older kids gathered by the school's back fence and showed each other their bored faces.
"This place stinks," said one, and the school gasped.
"I hate school", said another with puffy hair, to the agreement of his friends
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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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