Everyone knows that sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach just before diving into a new situation. Sarah Jane Hartwell is scared and doesn''t want to start over at a new school. She doesn''t know anybody, and nobody knows her. It will be awful. She just knows it. With much prodding from Mr. Hartwell, Sarah Jane reluctantly pulls herself together and goes to school. She is quickly befriended by Mrs. Burton, who helps smooth her jittery transition. This charming and familiar story will delight readers with its surprise ending.
Fun, energetic illustrations brighten page after page with the busy antics surrounding Sarah Jane. FIRST DAY JITTERS is an enchanting story that is sure to be treasured by anyone who has ever anticipated a first day of school.
Kindergarten-Grade 3-Sarah is hiding under her covers as Mr. Hartwell asks, "You don''t want to miss the first day at your new school do you?" From under the blanket she replies, "I''m not going." When he reminds her how much she liked her other school and asks her to think of all the new friends she''ll meet, she imagines a classroom where a paper airplane is flying, a boy is pulling his neighbor''s pigtail, and another is blowing a gigantic bubble. Mr. Hartwell finally gets Sarah to stumble out of bed, eat a bit of toast, and get into the car where she slumps down into her seat. At school, the principal cheerfully welcomes her and takes her to the classroom where she is introduced as "Mrs. Sarah Jane Hartwell," the new teacher. There is a bit of foreshadowing that Sarah is an adult, but as she is always partially hidden, the ending will come as a surprise to most readers. The ink-and-watercolor illustrations are full of action and maintain the lighthearted tone. A little subplot in the paintings shows the family cat and dog having their own contest of wills while their owner is trying to get his wife up and out. The joke provides a good laugh and children may find it reassuring that they are not alone in their anxieties about new situations.
Adele Greenlee, Bethel College, St. Paul, MN
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Every child who has moved to a new school or is simply reluctant to start a school year can identify with this wittily drawn and suspensefully told story. From the moment she awakens on the fateful day to the moment she steps into the classroom, Sarah Hartwell imagines the worst. Love''s ink-and-watercolor illustrations add humor to Sarah''s fears, which range from bratty kids to a police search when she doesn''t show up. Mr. Hartwell''s reassurances don''t seem to be much help. The pictures mirror the jangled nerves and outsize expectations (the double-page spread of a looming, prisonlike school is priceless) everyone faces when they are new, all of which leads to a nifty surprise ending that is a delight. Funny and insightful."
First Day Jitters which was written by Julie Danneberg and illustrated by Judy Love, makes a great companion book to
Wemberly Worried. In the opening pages, we meet a certain Sarah Jane Hartwell, who''s in the midst of her own first-day-of-school-related panic attack. Sarah Jane is buried under her covers so far that you can''t even see her face. In fact, you have no idea what she looks like until the very last page of the whimsical book, which suddenly delivers a sly and funny twist..."
As a kid, when Julie Danneberg daydreamed or played at being grown-up, she never imagined herself as a writer. Instead she dreamed of being a famous girl reporter, a secret agent, and a teacher.
As an adult, she is a former middle-school teacher and the author of the bestselling Jitters series, including
First Day Jitters and
Last Day Blues. She lives in Colorado.
"Sarah, dear, time to get out of bed," Mr. Hartwell said, poking his head through the bedroom doorway. "You don''t want to miss the first day at your new school, do you?"