Yesterday was the last day of winter break. Our two boys had some gift certificates to spend at a local book store. When my husband and I saw I Don't Want to Go to School written and illustrated by Stephanie Blake, we had to get it.
I didn't read the book first and now regret buying it because it's really too young for us. The hero, Simon, seems to be a kindergartner who is afraid to go to school. The guy we were thinking of is eleven and in the fourth grade.
Also, unlike the hero, my guy has autism and his problems with school go way beyond anxiety. (He just doesn't like it, and we're still trying to figure out why.) Anyway, by the end of the story, Simon decides he likes school so much he doesn't want to leave. That is great, but it makes me wish that was the case with my child. He always wants to come home!!!
Don't get me wrong. The book is cute. My six year old liked it a lot when I read it to him, though it seemed a bit young even for him, let alone my eleven year old. I also noticed something a bit off about the book. It's a picky point, but Blake depicts Simon writing his name in cursive on one of the pages. This is something a second or third grader might do, but certainly not a kindergartner on his first day at school! Further, there are signs all over the kindergarten room on one page in the book. All the signs written in cursive. I've been in many a kindergarten room and usually all the signs are printed.
So, that is another thing my son does not have in common with Simon. He might not ever write in cursive. It's hard enough for him to print his name. C1's team at school and I think his problems with school might have to do with writing. My team and I learned about how to solve writing related problems at START. Hopefully, I'll blog about the topic of hand writing soon.
As far as this book goes, it seems most appropriate for young children who are just about to enter primary school (though I like Wemberly Worried, a similar book, by Kevin Henkes a bit better). Blake's pictures are bright and cheerful and the story depicts Simon having a lot of fun at school, but as a mom of older children I wish I had passed on this one for something more age appropriate.