Written by Jocelyn Crabb
Illustrated by Danny Snell
Reviewed by Kerry Neary
Experts say that children should be made school-ready to lessen the anxiety of starting at school. This probably takes all their preschool lives, not just a few weeks beforehand or one book the night before! The remarkable thing is that, despite the terrors reported in the media, the vast majority of children survive the transition. If they are not settling down, then there are plenty of picture books to help. Just ask your friendly school Teacher-Librarian!
This is the latest release that I have seen on this topic; use it at the beginning of next year or when children are changing schools along the way. The theme is timeless. Ozzie has not lived a typical pre-school life. He lives in a shipping container on a beach in Australia’s Top End, so his experiences have been different. He doesn’t want to go to school because Dad won’t have anyone to help collecting the shells and the driftwood; and catching fish. But his Dad says it is important. Ozzie does his best but sometimes the challenges of maths and words, and morning talks are a bit overwhelming – each day he runs home.
Will Ozzie make it through the first week? There’s a patient teacher and understanding classmates to help. With soft, top-end-hazy colours and friendly body language in the figure drawing, Ozzie Goes To School is a book to reassure any child fazed by the busy-ness of those first days at school – or a new school.
Working Title Press 2019 Hardback Picture Book $24.99 Age 5+ ISBN 9781921504907