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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Go to School, Kanunu is a children’s picture book written by Chris Esper and illustrated by Cardigan Broadmoor. Kanunu got up one morning and decided that he wasn’t going to school that day. He ate his breakfast, as he usually did before school, but didn’t move when his mom told him to hurry up and get ready. Kanunu told her that he just didn’t want to go, and no, he wasn’t at all interested in learning new things. He wasn’t even impressed when his mom threatened to put him in the timeout chair. Kanunu’s mom wasn’t going to take this lying down; however, she acted on her threat and put Kanunu in timeout. She figured that waking the chair and putting her threat into motion would motivate her son. What she never figured on was the chair’s response. How was she going to get her son to go to school?
Go to School, Kanunu is a hilarious tale about a little boy who decides not to go to school and the outrageous steps his mom takes to make him go. Esper introduces the story as a folk tale his dad used to tell him and his sister. It was a favorite story which had been handed down from his Syrian grandparents. The story is a classic one with a refrain which keeps on getting larger as Kanunu’s mom tries to compel her son to cooperate. As I read it, I could see kids giggling over the refrain during story hour. Broadmoor’s illustrations flawlessly match the story and tone of the piece, and I couldn’t help but feel some solidarity with Kanunu, the chair and the other actors in the story as they stood up to Kanunu’s mom. This story is ideal for exposing kids to other cultures and can be used in discussions on how Kanunu’s life is similar to or different from their own lives. Go to School, Kanunu is most highly recommended.