Friday, July 31, 2015

Rufus Goes to School by Kim T. Griswell, Valeri Gorbachev

About the book: All Rufus Leroy Williams III wants is to go to school so he can learn to read his favorite book. But there's one problem: he's a pig and Principal Lipid says: “NO PIGS IN SCHOOL!” Rufus even gets a backpack, a lunchbox, and a blanket to prove he's ready. But Mr. Lipid won't budge. Is there ANYTHING Rufus can do to change his mind? Kim Griswell and illustrator Valeri Gorbachev have created a love letter to reading that's also a charming, original, and child-friendly first-day-of-school story.

My thoughts: Delightful Rufus is back again! Rufus really wants to go to school and he finds there is a "no pigs allowed" rule. He begins to persuade the principal that he really and truly is ready for school even if he is a pig. You see, Rufus dearly loves books. Turning the pages of his favorite books is a joy to him but he needed to learn to read the words - that's what school is for.

I just love the expressive, colorful drawings that capture the drool expressions and depict the scenes so aptly. The illustrations will provide ample opportunity during read-aloud sessions to engage the child in discussions that will increase his/her attention to detail.
What is "in" this book? I see a deeper, underlying theme of discrimination. "No pigs allowed" because of a variety of reasons. This isn't addressed, but can be during read-aloud sessions when ultimately the discrimination is set aside because the real reason to go to school is to learn. This is the strong ending and no one is discriminated against learning.

I see the theme of "having things" as a qualifier for attending school given a backseat by the truth that school is for learning - Rufus wanted to learn to read the words in his beloved picture book.

I see the story ending on the high note of students enjoying all aspects of school.

It is BACK-TO-SCHOOL time and this would be a good read at home for the kids starting school, in school libraries for read-aloud sessions, and for shelving at libraries everywhere. (rev. VG)

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate this review and the opinions expressed are solely my own. I was not compensated for this review.

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