Little Cliff's First Day of School

ISBN 13: 9780142500828

Little Cliff's First Day of School

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9780142500828: Little Cliff's First Day of School

Little Cliff's great-grandmother, Mama Pearl, and his great-grandfather, Poppa Joe, are so excited for him to start first grade.  But Little Cliff doesn't want to go to school, especially if it means leaving behind his toys, his home, and his family.  When the first day of school comes, Mama Pearl walks Little Cliff to the schoolhouse.  As they draw nearer, Little Cliff hears laughter and looks up to see that all of his friends are there.  Hmm, maybe school will be fun. . . .

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

From School Library Journal:

K-Gr 2-In this second story about Little Cliff, an African-American boy growing up in the rural South in the 1950s, it is time for his first day of school. His happy and proud great-grandparents have laid out his special clothes, but Cliff does "not want to start first grade-not one bit." He is so frightened when it's time to leave that he tries hiding under the house-a favorite refuge from the heat of summer. However, determined Mama Pearl coaxes him out and walks him to school herself. As they near the schoolyard, Cliff sees his friends enjoying a ball game and realizes that school isn't just being "quiet, quiet, quiet" and "work, work, work." He can have fun as well. The lengthy text is appropriately flavored by dialect that is readily accessible to young readers: Mama Pearl chides, "Cliff, don't step on my nerves. Now you git them shoes on right now." Lewis's large watercolor paintings of the boy with downcast eyes, bowed head, and slumped shoulders speak volumes about his apprehensions. The country schoolhouse looks run-down and uninviting until it is surrounded by energetic youngsters. Children will recognize in Cliff's reactions their own first-day jitters and will be comforted by the last scene in which a laughing-crying Mama Pearl hugs him and says, "I am just so happy we made it to school on our first day."-Marianne Saccardi, Norwalk Community College, CT

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

Ages 3-8. Like Little Cliff and the Porch People (1999), this is a warm picture book about an African American boy who lives with his loving great-grandparents in a big frame house in the Mississippi Delta in the 1950s. Little Cliff is terrified about starting school. Words and pictures show him trying to hide and making excuses, while his great-grandparents insist that he has to go. By the time he gets to the schoolhouse with Mama Pearl, he's in tears and she's helpless--until his friends call to him from the schoolyard and he realizes that school can be fun. As with the first book, this one will appeal as much to adults as to the kids they read to, and it's sure to spark family storytelling. Of course, it's also a way for children everywhere to confront their own fears of that dreaded first day. The words are simple and direct, and Lewis' moving, realistic watercolors portray the family bonds, the strength of the old people, and their proud letting go of the boy they love. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Clifton L. Taulbert (Illustrator), E. B. Lewis (Illustrator)
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