Back To School Fun with Julie Danneberg

First Day Jitters
Written by Julie Danneberg
Illustrated by Judy Love
Rec Ages 6-9

First Day JittersSarah, Jane Hartwell does not want to go to the first day of school. She is new and she doesn’t know anyone. Mr. Hartwell does a good job to convince her to get moving anyway, and a meeting with the principal when she gets to school helps to smooth the way to a delightfully fun ending.

Everyone, at some point, has felt this way about the first day whether they were new or not. Danneberg has a witty talent for capturing the classroom in a way that makes it accessible and fun for kids and parents alike. It should be noted that the lovely twist at the end of this book had my 15-year-old guffawing for minutes, I can imagine how much fun second graders could have with it. As always Judy Love’s brilliantly colorful illustrations, that perfectly express the dymnamics and energy of students and teacher alike, take the story to a new level of enjoyment for the reader.


The Big Test
Written by Julie Danneberg
Illustrated by Judy Love
Rec Ages 6-9

9781580893619_p0_v2_s192x300Mrs. Hartwell’s Class has worked hard all school year and it has come down to the last big test. Mrs. Hartwell takes her class through the skills they will need to be successful on the test. Can they sit still and properly fill in the bubbles? Do they know what that a good breakfast is important? By the day of the practice test all of her students are anxious and nervous and have visited the school nurse and poor Mrs. Hartwell is feeling very bad for them.

I am the mom of an anxious test taker. The poor kid gets so nervous, he is often not capable of showing what he knows. In a public school culture where the test is the culmination of the school year, this humorous look at Mrs. Hartwell’s class happens all too often. With school starting up again an emphasis on testing will once again be a part of kids daily lives. This book would be a terrific jumping off point to discuss with students that those big tests they dread don’t have to be scary. It shows the most important part of learning, how to have fun with it.

While the story is charming and quite fun, the star of the book is the illustration by Judy Love. Brightly colored in vivid detail, Mrs. Hartwell and her students practically leap off the pages. This is a wonderful class library shelf book for grades 1-3.


parts of this were posted previously

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s