This review was written by myself, first published on the AOI website on 27th April 2018 and is available on their website. The book can be bought online and in bookshops and more information can be reached through their publisher, Published by Frances Lincoln ISBN 9781847808981
Unpacking what might be a daunting experience for a small child, Going To School follows Rose and all she gets up to throughout the course of her day at school, making it so fun that it feels like we should all go back for a few more lessons.
Rose guides us through learning about global migration, ecology and balanced eating, amongst myriad other topics, simply explained and infused with a lot of enjoyment for lessons that always come with room for creativity. Full of energy, the day unfolds at a steady pace, and invites questions, making it a perfect for bedtime learning. Rose does everything from arrive by scooter to practicing her skipping at breaktime, taking a maths lesson and setting forward her career ambitions, all before reluctantly going home.
Blake’s illustrations are warm and inviting, with simple forms and engaging use of colour, and with a great sense of detail that can bring a new discovery every time you open the book. The simplistic style enhances the busy composition and creates a rich and colourful set of images. Children will enjoy the interactivity of going back through the book to find clues and devices that help drive the story forward for future encounters.
The simplicity with which Blake shows us Rose’s time at school allows for the reader to explore Rose’s creativity and spend a while enjoying it, whilst exercising their own. Looking at the stories that unfold in the Book Nook, the imagination moves to create endings to unspoken tales. With such a clear and informative celebration of a day spent in the classroom, it is easy to imagine that school might not be such a bad place to be.