My Stinky New School by Rebecca Elliott
Published by Lion Children’s Books
When Toby sees his younger siblings happily settled in their individual learning environments he compares their experience to the one he has fearfully and imaginatively anticipated for himself at his new school.
Sister Clemmie goes to a Special School that smells of rainbows, paint and chocolate. She loves it. Little Benjamin goes to a wonderful Nursery School that smells of sunshine, playdough and bananas.
Even before he arrives at his school, Toby expects it to be stinky and smell of pigeon poop, ogre armpits and even sadness. His imagined school experience is not a good one; he already hates his new school and he knows he’ll find no friends there.
Toby is right about school friends; none are apparent on his first day. However, a spaceman, an alien, a pirate, a dinosaur expert and some mermaids soon make themselves known.
It’s not long before this motley array of people show him around at school, explain things and draw him into their fun activities, but at the end of the day when Mum arrives to take him home, Toby tells her he still hasn’t found any friends.
It’s only when Mum asks “Well, who are those people then?” that Toby sees the spaceman, the alien, the pirate, the dinosaur expert and the mermaid as they really are. They are children just like him and have become his new friends. He’d just been having too much fun that day to notice.
Contrary to Toby’s fearful expectations, the reality of his first day at his new school has been very different to the one he’d imagined.
At the end of the day Toby still thinks school stinks, but not of bad things. School stinks of moon cheese, buried treasure and dinosaurs.
Laden with imaginative, emotive pictures, My Stinky New School is a quirky, impactful and satisfying story for children transitioning to school and would also be great for children who are changing schools. It reflects from a child’s imaginative viewpoint both the worries and realities of a first day school experience. Ultimately, it gently reinforces that school is not to be feared. Highly recommended.
CKT Book Reviewer
Author/Illustrator: Rebecca Elliott
Title: My Stinky New School
Publisher: Lion Children’s Books
Published: June 2015