Reviews for Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten?

Booklist Reviews 2010 August #1
Gearing up for the first day of kindergarten can be a stressful affair, but the base-level implausibility of this book should add some laughs while reassuring children that they are, in fact, ready for the big leap into school. By transferring the subject from a child to “your buffalo,” the book dodges preachiness as it lays out some nice lessons about what to expect. Chalky drawings of a big cartoony buffalo show that although he may be the only kid in class with a mane, horns, and a hump, there’s all sorts of things that make him unique and special. Just the thing to calm those night-before nerves. Ed: OK in Older Readers? Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Spring
Though he's hairier than everyone else and too big for the swings, Buffalo successfully navigates kindergarten. He gets over his shyness, fear of scissors, and temptation to improperly use his horns by following the rules and remembering that everyone is different. Expressive childlike drawings illustrate this playful take on the first-day-of-school-jitters story. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2010 June #1

He is if he's got a backpack, of course. There are other things you can do to help him out, too—introduce him and his adorable furry face to your friends, guide him to the best playground games ("Your buffalo is the very best hiding spot ever") and always remind him that "Everyone's special in his or her own way" (maybe he can't use scissors, but he is the state animal of Oklahoma). To this tongue-in-cheek direct-address text, Jennewein matches clean, cartoon compositions. His smudgy pencil outlines soften the flat colors and make plenty of hay with the buffalo's outsized bulk. The giant ruminant's goofy grin matches that of his redheaded owner's and heightens the ridiculousness of the scenario. As an embodiment of school anxiety, this buffalo leads the herd—plus, he's got a hump. (Picture book. 4-8)

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2010 July #4

"Some people say kindergarten is no place for a buffalo. How crazy is that?" So begins this humorous story about standing out in order to fit in. A buffalo doesn't look, eat, or act like anyone else, but it's his differences that make him so lovable ("who can resist that furry face?"). This story's simple lesson about individuality is cleverly expressed through Vernick's gentle wit and Jennewein's crayon-outlined kindergartners--most of all, the furry and ungainly reader surrogate with whom kids will readily relate, even if "he may the only one who eats grass, then throws it up in his mouth and eats it again. Remember: Everyone's special in his or her own way." Ages 4-8. (July)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2010 June

PreS-K--As the title indicates, this is a silly book about the first day of kindergarten with one's own buffalo. The analogy here is that kids react and behave differently, and that there is a place for all of them in school. The story prompts readers to remind the buffalo that finger painting is fun and it's okay to get messy; those hooves could create a masterpiece. Buffaloes (and children) learn how to get along without using their horns. "Cooperating and taking turns are both Very Big Deals in kindergarten." This wacky picture book, with its bold cartoonlike illustrations of a buffalo that snorts, dances, and makes faces, may help apprehensive youngsters to be more at ease about going to school. "Everyone's special in his or her own way. That's the kind of thing you learn in kindergarten." Vernick's amusing tale will prove handy as a first-day-of-school book recommendation for children and teachers alike.--Lindsay Persohn, Crystal Lake Elementary, Lakeland, FL

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