Endearing from the get-go, this warm, funny early chapter book introduces Brooklynite Harry Bergen-Murphy on the eve of school's opening day, as he laments the "too-short haircut" that will make him "the eariest kid in first grade, probably." Also on his list of worries are strict teachers, rules, learning to read, mean kids, "scary classroom guinea pigs"--and making friends. His gently firm teacher helps the intermittently impulsive boy over some of these hurdles, building his confidence, squelching his penchant for whispering during class, and supporting his mission to discover what he can become an "expert" at. Harry's intuitive mother coaches him about using his words to counter disappointment and anger, and his caring sister comforts him when he feels let down by friends--and slyly cures his fear of guinea pigs. In brief clips of Harry's first 100 days, Jenkins (Toys Meet Snow) spotlights Harry's adjustment to school, insightfully and entertainingly revealing his burgeoning self-reliance, tightening grasp on the meaning of friendship and family, and appreciation of the value of empathy and acceptance. Expressive color cartoons art by Oswald (The Bad Seed) amplify Harry's earnestness and likability. Ages 5-8. Author's agent: Elizabeth Kaplan, Elizabeth Kaplan Agency. Illustrator's agent: Kirsten Hall, Catbird Agency. (June)Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
K-Gr 3—Six-year-old Harry Bergen-Murphy is endearing, earnest, and anxious. He lives in Brooklyn with his single mother and attends the public school just a few blocks away with his older sister, Charlotte. Harry is about to start first grade and he's worried about mean kids, teachers who yell, and scary guinea pigs. Short chapters perfectly portray the first 100 days of his first grade year with all its glorious ups and downs, from where to sit at lunch to tackling the tricky silent "e" to what 100 items he will share on the hundredth day of school. Jenkins depicts first grade dialogue and dynamics with honesty and affection. The full-color, cartoonish art depicts a variety of classroom and neighborhood scenes that reflect the diversity of the characters. VERDICT This appealing chapter book is a terrific addition to any 100-day narrative collection. It is perfectly tailored for a read-aloud and is bound to be a favorite.—Brenda Kahn, Tenakill M.S., Closter, NJCopyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.