by Cynthia Andrews
Floyd Yamyamin, illustrator
Back Cover: Three-year-old Molly goes to preschool for the first time. She is a little scared to be away from her mommy, but with the help of her teachers and new friends, she enjoys the fun activities in the classroom and outside playground. Every preschool child can relate to the first day fears as they identify with the children in the story.
First Sentence: Molly was going to her first day of preschool.
About the Story: Molly enters the preschool classroom for the first time, holding her mommy’s hand. One little girl was crying, afraid to go in the room without her mommy. Molly thought she might feel scared too. A teacher shows them where to place Molly’s things and invites them to look around. Molly goes to the child-sized kitchen and makes her mother breakfast. Rosa soon joins in and Molly has made her first preschool friend. Mommy soon leaves and Molly is a bit unsure, but Rosa helped her through it. The teacher then sang to the class, officially starting the morning.
The children listen to a story and song about a fish, have a snack, play outside, and have free time. Molly uses the time to paint a fish and play with the wooden blocks. Miss Tina, one of the teachers began singing the clean-up song and Molly’s mommy came back to pick up Molly. Molly’s first day of preschool was a success.
What I Thought: Molly Goes to Preschool tells us about a day in the life of preschooler, Molly, who is attending for the first time. We do not know much about Molly except that she might be feeling scared and kept a tight hold of her mommy’s hand. The day moves swiftly from one activity to another. There are no conflicts to overcome, no real ways to change. The ten pages of actual story is crammed with text; much too much text for a picture book. A normal 32-page picture book for preschoolers rarely has more than 500 words. Molly Goes to Preschool’s ten pages have 1026 words. If it were thirty-two pages the word count would crash at 4214 words.
The dialogue rule stating one must start a new paragraph with each new speaker is broken throughout the story. On page three, the one paragraph switched speakers seven times, making it difficult to read the dialogue or read-aloud.
Paragraphs are not indented and have a white space between them. Many self-published books use this accepted Internet style of writing instead of switching gears to author mode and the standard book format of using indents to identify a new paragraph.
I did not like the narrator announcing each of the ten children’s name—“six girls and four boys”—midway into the book, especially since Molly only interacted with three of the girls. The narrator ran through the day’s activities like a sportscaster. “Tell” easily defeated “Show.”
The illustrations are nice. They remind me of snapshots the way each takes up the same amount of space in the book, placed in the same spot, and always in the same rectangular-shape. Two girls, one at each end of the story, cry for their mommy. Neither girl is main character Molly. All the other characters carry a similar smile throughout the pages.
Children may relate to the activities these characters play, but the story lacks most everything writing needs to be a story. Unfortunately, it’s back to the writing room for Molly Goes to Preschool.
Floyd Yamyamin, illustrator website
Released October 17, 2012
Ages: 3 to 5
© 2012 by Cynthia Andrews, used with permission
Text: Copyright © 2012 by ynthia Andrews
Illustrations: Copyright © 2012 by Floyd Yamyamin & Thinkstock
- Let’s Go See the Kids (review of Molly Goes to Preschool) ((snacksformax.wordpress.com)
- How Preschool Can Help Children Socialize (authorcindyandrews.wordpress.com)
- How to Ease Children into School With Books (authorcindyandrews.wordpress.com)