Friday, April 15, 2016

Review: Little Lilly's First Day of School by Kadeja L. Wexler

Adventures with the Jujukas, Book One 
by Kadeja L. Wexler
Illustrated by Karleigh Nakata
Auggie Bear Publishing
Picture Book
ages 4+ 
36 pages

Little Lilly is starting school, but the middle child of the Jujuka family couldn't be more nervous. Will the teachers and students be mean? Can Little Lilly find that school is nothing to fear, and everything to love? Come along as she ventures into a new world, where exciting experiences and lasting friendships await.

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This is the perfect book for all those kids who will be starting their first day of school or all those kids who can't wait for that day to come.

Little Lilly is about to start her first day of school, but there's one big problem--she doesn't want to go! She'd rather stay at home and play with her little brother and sister. But school, of course, doesn't wait, and whether she likes it or not, she has to go. Her experience is full of surprises that are guaranteed to leave a smile on little listeners' and readers' faces.

The first scenes depict Lilly with her family, a colorful mixture of characters which reflect security and warmth. The family's support is obvious, although they can't give in to Lilly's desire not to attend school. This wholesome feeling follows the book the entire way through, even when Lilly is unsure or runs into small rough spots. Bonds of friendship are formed, and she learns to be more self-assured. 

The illustrations are a real treat and invite young listeners to flip through time and again. Lilly's emotions are depicted very well, and the other characters are diverse as can be. The writing fits to the age group and brings across Lilly's worries and triumphs in ways kids of this age will easily understand. I believe it works best as a read aloud, but my own daughter (2nd grade) enjoyed reading through it herself.

Summed up: This is a lovely picture book for first time school kids, which not only gives them a glance into how a school day might be, but offers encouragement in a way they'll understand. It's easy to fall in love with the Jujukas and will be fun to see where the series leads these characters next.

And here she is. . .

Kadeja Wexler is super excited to debut her first children's book series, "ADVENTURES WITH THE JUJUKAS: LITTLE LILLY'S FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL." Affectionately known as "the Social Butterfly" amongst her family and peers, Kadeja took a few script writing courses in college, and has been writing ever since. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Five Towns College in 2006. Ironically, Kadeja was never keen on school, but always loved writing, acting and modeling. When she's not writing books, plays and musicals, Kadeja is daydreaming of another great story. She currently lives in New York with her husband and son, but will always be a Philadelphia "Philly" girl at heart!

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