Starting School

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A Big Day for Migs!
Jo Hodgkinson
Andersen Press
Migs’ big day has arrived; he’s starting school. Off he goes somewhat reluctantly, fighting back the tears as he bids goodbye to his mum. In the classroom, it’s a shy Migs who watches all the others enjoying themselves and then, in the dressing up corner, he discovers just the thing to boost his self-confidence.

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Before long there’s a super hero mouse roaring and rampaging around the room, cloak flowing behind; but like others, super heroes need to watch where they are going. WHOOSH… SPLOOSH! A whole pot of water spills over Rokko’s boat painting.
Even a super hero’s handiwork cannot repair the damage and a tearful Rokko makes his feelings known in no uncertain terms. But can that same super hero’s brain come up with a super plan?
Thanks to some great teamwork and creative crafting, it’s not too long before harmony is restored.

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Then it’s time for lunch, a story session and everyone departs smiling happily and eagerly anticipating another day of fun with new friends.

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Anyone who has spent any time in a nursery or reception classroom will recognize the way things can all too easily escalate from well-intentioned exuberant romp to minor mishap, and thence to complete disaster in a very short space of time. Jo Hodgkinson captures this so well here both in her amusing illustrations and the jaunty rhyming text, as she does too, those mixed feelings of excitement and apprehension about starting school.
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Dolci is fascinated by Mouse’s antics

Mouse’s First Night at Moonlight School
Simon Puttock and Ali Pye
Nosy Crow
It’s little Mouse’s very first night at Moonlight School, Miss Moon’s establishment for nocturnal creatures. The other members of the class, Bat, Cat and Owl have all arrived but there’s no sign of Mouse: She is having an attack of newcomer’s nerves and has gone into hiding.

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However, Mouse’s mother has given strict instructions about good behaviour to her offspring and so when Miss Moon calls the register, she finds herself revealing her presence and eventually creeps out to show herself. The accommodating Miss Moon responds to her “I like hiding” by suggesting a game of hide-and-seek and the class members scamper off to hide. Owl, Cat and Bat’s whereabouts are quickly discovered but where is Mouse? (Observant readers will have spotted her hiding place). A careful search ensues but to no avail;

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Miss Moon begins to worry but eventually little Mouse can contain herself no longer … out she pops just in time for midnight snack with her new friends and what’s even more exciting, shyness overcome, she has discovered something she can do better than her classmates.
The nocturnal setting of this story with its friendly witch teacher, gives it a pinch of something extra so it is not just a ‘starting school’ story. Children love the idea of the teacher not being able to find mouse but I don’t think they needed to be told her whereabouts; perhaps better to let the pictures do the talking here.
There are lots of amusing details in Ali Pye’s muted, candle-lit illustrations and I just love those gorgeous, lunar-lighted landscapes, in particular, the endpapers.

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