Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Kindergarten Day USA and China: A Flip-Me-Over Book

Kindergarten Day USA and China: A Flip-Me-Over Book

Trish Marx
Photographer: Ellen B. Senisi
For ages 3 to 6
Charlesbridge, 2010   ISBN: 978-1580892193

Thousands of miles separate China and the United States and there is a twelve-hour time difference between the two countries. When America children are going to school, Chinese students are fast asleep. Though these two countries are so different, there are many things that Chinese and American schoolchildren have in common.

Let us begin by visiting the classroom of a kindergarten class in Schenectady, New York. It is nine o’clock and the children are being greeted by their teacher. At ten o’clock the boys and girls practice their reading and then they go outside to draw pictures. They get their lunch in the lunchroom at noon and then they have a treat. One of the children is celebrating his birthday and he passes out cupcakes to his classmates.

After our visit with the American children is complete, we can flip the book and get to know some Chinese kindergarten students. Just like the children in the USA, the children in China are greeted by their teacher when they arrive at school. They too practice learning to read and have art class. At lunchtime they use chopsticks to eat instead of a fork and knife, and their food is very different from what the American children get in their lunchroom. Here too, in Beijing, a boy is celebrating his birthday and he shares a cake with his friends.

Full of colorful photographs, and with information about language and customs in two different countries, this book shows to great effect that kindergarten children in two countries that are very different are actually a lot alike. Young readers will be surprised to see that a child who lives on the opposite side of the world has school experiences that are very familiar.  Children are sure to enjoy learning the Chinese words that are incorporated into the narrative.