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Reviewed by Rich Follett for Readers' Favorite
Jesse True, about to begin his first day at a new school in a world full of light and opportunity, discovers that he changes colors as his emotions range from happy to sad and all points in between. With the help of his mother and a wise doctor, Jesse learns that being different can be a wonderful gift. Jesse True’s First Day at School sends a positive, timely message to young readers. Jodi Healy, a qualified teacher with a background in psychology, grew up with an Early Childhood Center (run by her mother) attached to her home and is herself a mother of three. These experiences inform her writing, which is simple, direct, and fully resonant with positive messages for kids.
Jesse True’s First Day at School by Jodi Healy offers not only an entertaining and educational story but also a pair of bonus features: at the end of the book, a color-keyed glossary of Jesse’s moods appears, along with a pair of coloring pictures of Jesse and his little sister Jillian, whom readers will have the opportunity to meet in Book #2 of the series. Beck Goguen’s colorful illustrations offer the perfect reflection of Jesse’s changing colors and moods; children will be enchanted as Goguen’s pictures draw them into the story. Jesse True’s First Day at School by Jodi Healy would be an ideal book for children facing life changes and struggling to cope with unfamiliar feelings, as well as an excellent primer for very young children trying to understand their own feelings and how to identify and express them to others. This story not only entertains but also provides a valuable service for young children.