Author: Juli-ette Robin Goldston
Illustrator: Maranda Bing
Year published: 2012
Number of pages: 11
Recommended age: 4-6
Son Rating: ★★★★★
Grown-up Rating: ★★★★☆
Reviewed by: Renee and Dominic (Mother and Son)
Summary (from back cover): Robert Brownlee is beginning kindergarten this year at a new school. Today is his first day of school. Robert is known for his signature bow ties and is affectionately known as Bowtie Brownlee. He encounters a little problem when arriving at school to find not many other boys his age are wearing bow ties.
In this story, Bowtie models how to handle adversity and how to feel good about being unique. Bowtie has an eventful day meeting his new teacher and a new friend. This is the first book of Bowtie’s journeys and adventures.
What it’s about: This book is about a boy who is going to school on his first day. The boy next to him was being mean to him and then another kid liked him and was being nice to him.
What I liked and disliked about: I liked the pictures in the book. I liked that he wears bow ties because I like wearing ties. I loved everything about it. There was nothing I didn’t like about it.
My bottom line: I really liked this book and I would recommend it to little kids younger than me.
What it’s about: This book tells the story of Robert “Bowtie” Brownlee, on his very first day of kindergarten. Bowtie learns that looking different can sometimes be a problem but that there are always others who will accept him for who he is.
What I liked and disliked about: This is a sweet story with a very clear message. When we are introduced to Bowtie, we see a boy who feels good about himself, and who is proud that he wears a bow tie like his Dad. But on his first day of school, Bowtie gets bullied because he’s wearing a bow tie. But the reader sees how Bowtie, although hurt, does stand up for himself. He is then befriended by another boy in the class, thus teaching him that he doesn’t need to change anything about himself to please others.
The illustrations in the book are really great, very unique. They look like something a child would draw so they are very kid-friendly. My son agrees that they are very eye-catching.
In all honesty, I wish the book was a bit longer. The word density per page is very high for such a short book – as long as 70 words per page. I think some of the text could have been broken up and additional pages included. I did feel that the book ended rather abruptly and could imagine the conclusion occurring when Bowtie returned home to his family to talk about his day.
My bottom line: Overall, I thought this was a good little book. I really liked the clear, strong message. However, I really do think that the format should be changed (i.e., more pages, less words per page). I would recommend this book to children between the ages of 4 and 6, especially those starting kindergarten this fall. Little girls may have more difficulty identifying with all the male characters (aside from the female teacher and the Mom).
** Bowtie Brownlee Goes to School by Juli-ette Robin Goldston was provided to us free-of-charge by the author. **
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