#916 – Ming Goes to School by Deirdre Sullivan and Maja Löfdahl

Ming Goes to School
Written by Deirdre Sullivan
Illustrated by Maja Löfdahl
Sky Pony Press   7/05/2016
32 pages   Ages 3—6

“Ming goes to school, where she learns to say hello and goodbye. She meets new friends and introduces them to old friends (including her favorite teddy). She builds sandcastles and makes snow angels. She traces, glitters, and glues. She is so fearless that when held at sword point, she even walks the plank!

“But she isn’t quite ready for the big red slide—not yet.” [inside jacket]

Ming heads off to preschool. She leaves dad with a confident goodbye, never one to cry for him to stay. I love this confident child. Ming makes her way around the room, independently making friends. She enjoys playing with all sorts of toys with both boys and girls. Outdoors, as the seasons change, Ming enjoys all sorts of activities, except one—the big red slide. It looks oh, so tall. She stays a safe distance away, near the teacher.

Ming Goes to School, Spread 1Ming Goes to School is an adorable picture book about ordinary school activities as seen through the eyes of an Asian girl (with a white dad), and her diverse classmates. Children unsure about their first year in school; their first year away from home for a good part of the day; and their first time making their own decisions will enjoy the normalcy of Ming Goes to School. But like most children, there is at least one thing Ming cannot or will not do. For Ming that thing is the huge red slide.

You remember the big slide. The one with all those steps reaching so high into the sky. And the top where you had to sit down while still holding on tight to the rail (but not so tight others notice you being scared). Then you must let go of the rail and push yourself down that huge slide . . . to the end where a patch of sand waits for your arrival. You get up, dust the sand from your bottom, and then race back in line to do it all over again. All the while, wearing a grin as large as the slide is tall. Defeating a fear always feels good.

The watercolor illustrations beautifully represent a multicultural class of kids doing non-gender specific activities. As the year changes through the seasons, Ming also changes. She is a small girl the first day of school. When winter arrives, Ming sits quietly reading a book, looking more mature than the first day. She also looks more confident. Her round baby-face matures and she stands taller. The first day, Ming looks out as her father leaves. The last day, Ming looks into the classroom—same window—while dad waits for her. Then she spies the huge red slide. We leave Ming sitting at the top of the slide, a confident smile upon her face.

Ming Goes to School, Spread 2I love how Ming Goes to School can desensitize school for young children not sure they still want to go to school. To this day, I remember my first day of kindergarten. I remember wanting to go to school, but then being afraid to be there by myself. I remember other kids crying and holding on to their moms for dear life, as if being left with the wicked witch rather than a kind teacher. Ming Goes to School can help fearful children and parents relax, while getting used to the idea of what each day might be like. Books are great that way. Ming Goes to School is great that way.

Ming Goes to School is Sullivan and Löfdahl’s debut children’s book.

MING GOES TO SCHOOL. Text copyright © 2016 by Deirdre Sullivan. Illustrations copyright © 2016 by Maja Löfdahl. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Sky Pony Press, New York, NY.

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Find Ming Goes to School on Goodreads HERE.

Deirdre Sullivan:
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Maja Löfdahl:
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Sky Pony Press:  http://skyponypress.com/
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Sky Pony Press is an imprint of Sky Horse Publishing.

Reprinted with permission from MING GOES TO SCHOOL © 2016 by Deirdre Sullivan, Sky Pony Press, an imprint of Sky Horse Publishing, Illustrations © 2016 by Maja Löfdahl.

Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Ming Goes to School
Written by Deirdre Sullivan
Illustrated by Maja Löfdahl
Sky Pony Press 7/05/2016


6 thoughts on “#916 – Ming Goes to School by Deirdre Sullivan and Maja Löfdahl

  1. Aw, those illustrations are so dreamy. I love the evolution of Ming that you describe, as well as how, by the end of the book, Ming is poised to conquer her fear. And what a fear! I do remember that hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach sitting at the top of a huge metal slide. The drop always seemed to be at a 90 degree angle.


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