Stories from a "knowledgeable" second grader raise fears on the first day of school as the girl from Countdown to Kindergarten (Silver Whistle, 2002) again struggles to conquer the unknown. Does her first-grade teacher really have a purple tongue? Is she truly a 300-year-old alien? Does she crave earthling baby teeth? A natural first-person narrative, punctuated by speech-bubble thoughts and conversations, carries readers through a difficult experience. Tension mounts as the day wears on and the intrepid student keeps silent to conceal the wobbly evidence in her own mouth. McGhee has the pulse of this blue-ribbon worrier who is the prey of the school gossip and manipulator. Bliss's watercolor and black-ink illustrations feature distinctive, large-eyed classmates and a number of humorous toothy references on the walls in the hall and in the classroom.–Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX
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