Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

First Grade Stinks!

First Grade Stinks!

Mary Ann Rodman
Illustrator:  Beth Spiegel 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Peachtree Publishers, 2008   ISBN: 978-1561454624

This year Haley and her friend Ryan are going into first grade. On the first day of school, they walk past the kindergarten class that they went to last year, and they feel sorry for the kindergartners who don’t know “how to act.” The friends are mature first graders now who have a year of school under their belt already.

Haley soon discovers that first grade is nothing like kindergarten. Her new teacher is not as smiley as her old one was, the classroom is bare, there is no “share time,” and there is only one recess. Haley’s new teacher does not like the orange sky that Haley draws during art, and she tells Haley to redo her writing because her letters are not the right size. What a crummy day! As far as Haley is concerned, “First grade stinks!” and she is not afraid to tell the whole class at the top of her voice what she thinks.

It is not easy getting used to being in a new grade. The work is different, the teacher is different, and the schedule is different. For some children these changes can be upsetting. This picture book addresses this problem with sensitivity and humor, and children will feel reassured as they follow Haley’s first day in first grade story.