Tuesday, April 19, 2022

This is a School by John Schu and Veronica Miller Jamison

This is a School by John Schu and illustrated by Veronica Miller Jamison was recently published and has gotten a lot of social media love. I enjoyed it very much on my first read. I fell in love with it more on my second read. It might be perfect timing for me. A reminder that school is more than reading assessment letters, national testing, and state testing.

The text reminds us it's a place for discovery and questions. A place where we don't need all the answers. It's exciting and positive. It's guiding and caring. It's safe and allows for mistakes. 

I love the repetitive phrases and can see early readers making this a shared reading with the two word sentences of we -------. Two page spreads show us important qualities of a community. Communities grow, celebrate, transform, work, and come together. I enjoyed discovering the illustrations that showed learning happening in the library, art room, music room, playground. and yard of the school; beyond the four walls of a classroom.

My favorite two page spread says "Sometimes something happens and we can't all be together. We learn. We care. We hope. We heal." The left page shows a girl in a second story window looking out; all alone. The right page shows a pair of students making cards and then the girl from the window with her dad looking at these cards with a broken foot and a crutch. I love how this shows a community caring and cheering each other up. This will help our classroom building in the fall, anchor our community when there is a hiccup or break from school, and help concretely see social studies standards.

Veronica Miller Jamison uses watercolor, acrylic paint, and digital collage to show an active, diverse, and  inclusive school. Definitely a book where the illustrations must be read to enhance the emotion and connection for the reader.

          Thank you Candlewick Press for this sneak peak. Just published March 2022.

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