Perfect Picture Book Friday – First Day Jitters

September has arrived, school is back in session, the promise of autumn is in the air, and I am jumping up and down with excitement!

Why?  (No!  Not because I’ve had too much caffeine! :))

Because they’re back!  Perfect Picture Book Fridays are back!

How I have missed them! 🙂

I am looking forward to a whole new season of fantastic books and reviews, to seeing what books you all think are great and reading the ones I’m not familiar with, and to sharing all these wonderful books and resources with everyone who reads and uses picture books.

Before I post mine for today, I just want to say that I did A LOT of things this summer.  Really.  By anyone’s reckoning it was BUSY (and for once I’m not exaggerating!)  But the one thing that didn’t get done was the Perfect Picture Book update.  There are still books missing from the list, and I haven’t finished figuring out how to make the page more user-friendly.  Rest assured, however, that I am working on it, and that once I get all my peeps back to school and have a bit more time to focus on writing and work, I will get it all squared away.  In the meantime, please bear with me 🙂

Now then!  Onto the first fabulous book for fall! 🙂

First Day Jitters
Written By: Julie Danneberg
Illustrated By: Judy Love
Charlesbridge, March 2000, Fiction

Suitable For: ages 5-8

Themes/Topics: first day of school, emotions (feeling nervous), coping (with new situations)

Opening:  “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?

Brief Synopsis: It’s the first day at a new school and Sarah doesn’t want to get up.  “I”m not going!” she says.  Mr. Hartwell reminds her how much she liked her old school and assures her she’ll make new friends, but he has his work cut out for him getting Sarah up and in the car.  When Sarah finally arrives at school, readers are in for a fun surprise!

Links To Resources: Activity Guide, More Activities, Ideas For Use.  The book makes an excellent springboard for discussion, at home or in the classroom, about how children might be feeling about starting school.  Would pair nicely with The Kissing Hand and Llama Llama Misses Mama 🙂

Why I Like This Book: The first day of school can be tough whether you’re starting at a new school or even just going back to the old one.  This story addresses the concerns a child might feel about starting school with a delightful twist – Sarah turns out to be the teacher!  The message that everyone – even grown-ups – can get butterflies in their stomachs about new things is reassuring.  The art is warm and engaging and does a terrific job of keeping the secret of Sarah’s identity until end.  This is a fun book for the back-to-school time of year.

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

And now, all my Perfect Picture Book friends, please add your post-specific links to the list below so we can all come visit you and see what books you’re celebrating today!  Then it will be off to the library to stock up on some great weekend reading!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!  And welcome back to Perfect Picture Book Fridays! 🙂

59 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – First Day Jitters

  1. Joanna Marple says:

    Susanna, I won't say anything, but this book gets my funny bone and is a great way of diffusing some of those first day of school wobblies!

    I am so glad you will have just a little more time to breathe, write, clear the office, eat chocolate, and continue to enthuse us, your blog-readers!

  2. Iza Trapani says:

    This is such a clever and fun book, and reassuring to little ones starting school. And, holy moly, what a feat for the illustrator! Good pick!

  3. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Ah! You've read it then! I love this book 🙂 And thank you for your very kind words – there never does seem to be enough time, but hopefully things will ease up a little 🙂 Of course, I have about a million things I want/need to do… 🙂

  4. Robyn Campbell says:

    Sounds like my kinda book. I'll check it out my next trip to the library. I'm not doing PPBF yet. Too much stuff going on. xoxo

  5. Heather Newman says:

    What a clever idea! It's so important for kids to know that adults aren't perfect and human emotions cover every age 🙂 I would love to see how the illustrator managed to keep the ending a secret throughout the book.

  6. Ruth Schiffmann says:

    Sounds like every first day I've ever experienced. What a great story idea. And of course, Susanna, you've picked the perfect time to highlight it.

  7. Julie Rowan-Zoch says:

    So glad PPBF is back! And thanks, because a phrase in this post just gave me a 12×12 draft idea! If it has any potential I'll send you a synopsis! Yay, Susanna!

  8. Beth Stilborn says:

    I am THRILLED to say that Debbie Ohi has just added sample spreads to my PPBF post, so for the peeps that saw it before 10:00 Eastern, please check it out again.

    I am also thrilled that PPBF is back. I have missed it!

  9. Angela Brown says:

    Having gone through the first day jitters with my Chipmunk, this PPBF choice is timely. I can share with her about what this darling character experienced. Thank you.

  10. Patricia Tilton says:

    Glad we're back with PPBF. Great book to start the year off Susanna. I was always excited but concerned about who my teacher would be. This book sounds like is has a twist, so will have to read to find out.

  11. Julie Rowan-Zoch says:

    Dang – too good to be true! The title not only exists, I have read it! Will 'share' next Friday…same time, same channel!

  12. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Doncha just hate when someone else got your idea first?! 🙂 Can't wait to see what it was 🙂

    Julie Rowan-Zoch wrote, in response to Julie Rowan-Zoch:

    Dang – too good to be true! The title not only exists, I have read it! Will 'share' next Friday…same time, same channel!

    Link to comment
    IP address:

  13. Clarbojahn says:

    Nervous with the first day of school! I must confess that I'm nervous with the restart of PPBF again after my long vacation. lol. I even forgot to link my story up first thing this morning. And I had scheduled way back last Saturday. 🙂

    Love this story, Susanna, with the nervous one being the teacher and not a student. Love those twists. 🙂

  14. Kirsten Larson says:

    After three months off, I almost forgot how to do this! Like I forgot to link my review. Yikes! Still, I'm happy we are back, and I love your first pick for the school season.

  15. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    It's great to see you around again, Amy! I'm glad PPBF is back in session too… although I still have catch-up work to do 🙂 I keep wanting to work on new mss in my “spare” time instead of finishing the updates! 🙂

  16. Stina Lindenblatt says:

    My kids were actually excited to go back to school, which was surprising since two of them were starting at new schools. I was most surprised with my oldest. He has Asperger's syndrome, and doesn't like change.

    Cute book!

  17. Richa Jha says:

    I took the cue from your First Day Jitters and featured A Lion In Paris here as it seemed like a natural extension of the same theme, though in a completely different setting.

    A big thank you to you, Susanna, for this wonderful platform (and your encouragement). I am glad I've joined this forum because in a matter of a day, it's given me so many wonderful people to connect with. Am still a little overwhelmed by the truly genuine keenness with which we all follow one another's recommendations, and I guess it'll take me at least one more participation to get fully into the groove, but it's been such a spirit-uplifting experience (and I can't thank you enough for it!).

    I suddenly get a feeling of belonging…You'll find me floating around this place often now:)

  18. Rosalind Adam says:

    Is it that time of year already? Doesn't time fly! I love the sound of this picture book and I now have a burning need to know what the surprises are when she gets to school!

  19. Stacy S. Jensen says:

    I had first-day jitters for the return of PPBF. I'm not sure why. I bought all my pencils, etc. I was ready. As I've mentioned before, if I can help with anything with the revamp of the system. Let me know. (I'm in the middle of two web design classes right now. Of course, I'm in over my head at the moment, but after a few chapters it should make sense.)

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