Once we return from the craziness of quarantine, James Preller‘s All Welcome Here (June 2020, Macmillan), illustrated by Mary GrandPré, will be perhaps more appropriate. Told in a series of haiku, this beautifully illustrated children’s picture book tells the story of the first day of school.
Taking readers through the whole day of the first day of school through haiku, All Welcome Here presents readers with a variety of youngsters who experience first bus rides, trying to find their way through the hall, and a host of new classmates. There is a certain humanity in the sharing of “the first day.”
GrandPré’s impressive illustrations of acrylic paint, crayon, and oil pastel do not disappoint, especially on the full-spread library page. The haiku constrict the vignettes a bit, as do the ways in which certain characters are named and foregrounded but not others. Those with a heart for students with special needs may be discouraged by particular representations.
A fun read aloud for elementary school teachers and parents gearing their child up for kindergarten, All Welcome Here earns three stars. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️