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The King of Kindergarten

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Best Seller
Hardcover
$17.99 US
| $23.99 CAN
On sale Jul 02, 2019 | 32 Pages | 978-1-5247-4074-0
Age 3-6 years | Grades 6-8
Reading Level: Lexile AD720L | Fountas & Pinnell M
A New York Times bestseller!

A confident little boy takes pride in his first day of kindergarten, by the Newbery Honor-winning author of Crown.


The morning sun blares through your window like a million brass trumpets.It sits and shines behind your head--like a crown. Mommy says that today, you are going to be the King of Kindergarten!

Starting kindergarten is a big milestone--and the hero of this story is ready to make his mark! He's dressed himself, eaten a pile of pancakes, and can't wait to be part of a whole new kingdom of kids. The day will be jam-packed, but he's up to the challenge, taking new experiences in stride with his infectious enthusiasm! And afterward, he can't wait to tell his proud parents all about his achievements--and then wake up to start another day.
     Newbery Honor-winning author Derrick Barnes's empowering story will give new kindergarteners a reassuring confidence boost, and Vanessa Brantley-Newton's illustrations exude joy.
* “It’s the first day of kindergarten, and our protagonist is ready. . . . Describes in confident, loving, sometimes humorous terms what that day will be like. . . . Buoyant prose. . . . A beamingly positive intro to a new experience that gives youngsters a great framing for their best behavior; the winking touch to the grandiloquence keeps it from being sentimental and instead makes it jubilant, affectionately jokey cheerleading. Line and digital artwork provides lively, playful background textures and details. . . . There are plenty of reassuring books about starting kindergarten, but this delightfully moves beyond 'It will be okay and you might even like it' to a straight out 'You will crush this!'”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review

*
 “When a mother gives her son the titular nickname, it inspires him throughout his first day of school. . . . Affirming text and energizing drawings . . . which skillfully balance bright colors, patterns, and textures, should put a spring in the step of any reluctant kindergartner: who wouldn’t want to be thought of as ‘the charming, the wonderful and the kind’ class sovereign?”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

*
“The playful illustrations use texture and shadow to great effect, with vibrant colors and dynamic shapes and lines sustaining readers' interest on every page. Text and visuals work together beautifully to generate excitement and confidence in children getting ready to enter kindergarten. The little king's smiling brown face is refreshing and heartwarming. . . . Necessary nourishment, infectiously joyous.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

*
“Joyful and empowering. . . . With the introduction of each part of this brand new day comes the assurance that nothing is too difficult for the King of Kindergarten. The vibrant and cheerful hand-drawn and digital illustrations feature a diverse classroom of children all helping one another. . . . Lots of emphasis on being a kind and brave classmate and ruler. . . . This marvelous story will give each reader an opportunity to see themselves as ‘the charming, the wonderful, and the kind King of Kindergarten.’ Perfect for storytime or one-on-one readings, this book is an absolute first purchase.”—School Library Journal, starred review

“Upbeat picture book. . . . Includes important milestones such as making friends, sharing, playing together, and going through the school day without any major issues, and Brantley-Newton adds clever imaginative details to these familiar scenes. The illustrations’ bright colors reflect the book’s positive tone as it conveys the joys of growing up, starting school, and learning school routines. This will make an excellent addition to early childhood classrooms, or as a tool to help future kindergarteners understand what a typical school day can look like. Best of all, this story is free of disasters and jitters, making it an affirming choice for children in need of a confidence boost.”—Booklist

“Barnes’s direct-address text is lighthearted and reassuring, with its offstage narrator speaking directly to this imaginary-crown-wearing child—and to all rising kindergartners, first-day jitters or no. Brantley-Newton’s cartoony mixed-media illustrations, hand-drawn and digitally colored, are bursting with color, pattern, and texture, with the brown-skinned protagonist surrounded by warmth (a smiley-faced sun that watches over him) and comfort (a cozy-looking patchwork quilt, stuffies, and finger-painted pictures in his bedroom; a school population of cheerful, brighteyed children of various ethnicities—and even the class fish is smiling!).”—The Horn Book

Derrick Barnes is a National Book Award Finalist for his graphic novel Victory. Stand!-Raising My Fist For Justice, which also won the  YALSA Excellence in Young Adult Nonfiction Award, and a Coretta Scott King Award Author Honor. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed, multi-award-winning picture book Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut which received a Newbery Honor, a Coretta Scott King Author Honor, the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award, and the Kirkus Prize for Young Readers. Derrick is also the creator of the New York Times bestselling companion picture books, The King of Kindergarten and The Queen of Kindergarten. He is a native of Kansas City, MO, but currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his enchanting wife, Dr. Tinka Barnes, and their four sons, the Mighty Barnes Brothers. View titles by Derrick Barnes
Vanessa Brantley-Newton is a self-taught illustrator, doll maker, and crafter who studied fashion illustration at FIT and children's book illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York. She is the author and illustrator of Grandma's Purse, Just Like Me, and Becoming Vanessa, and has illustrated numerous children's books, including the New York Times bestsellers The King of Kindergarten and The Queen of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes and Sewing Stories by Barbara Herkert. Vanessa currently makes her nest in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband, daughter, and a very rambunctious cat named Stripes. Learn more about Vanessa and her artwork at VanessaBrantleyNewton.com and on Facebook and Instagram. View titles by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

About

A New York Times bestseller!

A confident little boy takes pride in his first day of kindergarten, by the Newbery Honor-winning author of Crown.


The morning sun blares through your window like a million brass trumpets.It sits and shines behind your head--like a crown. Mommy says that today, you are going to be the King of Kindergarten!

Starting kindergarten is a big milestone--and the hero of this story is ready to make his mark! He's dressed himself, eaten a pile of pancakes, and can't wait to be part of a whole new kingdom of kids. The day will be jam-packed, but he's up to the challenge, taking new experiences in stride with his infectious enthusiasm! And afterward, he can't wait to tell his proud parents all about his achievements--and then wake up to start another day.
     Newbery Honor-winning author Derrick Barnes's empowering story will give new kindergarteners a reassuring confidence boost, and Vanessa Brantley-Newton's illustrations exude joy.

Reviews

* “It’s the first day of kindergarten, and our protagonist is ready. . . . Describes in confident, loving, sometimes humorous terms what that day will be like. . . . Buoyant prose. . . . A beamingly positive intro to a new experience that gives youngsters a great framing for their best behavior; the winking touch to the grandiloquence keeps it from being sentimental and instead makes it jubilant, affectionately jokey cheerleading. Line and digital artwork provides lively, playful background textures and details. . . . There are plenty of reassuring books about starting kindergarten, but this delightfully moves beyond 'It will be okay and you might even like it' to a straight out 'You will crush this!'”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review

*
 “When a mother gives her son the titular nickname, it inspires him throughout his first day of school. . . . Affirming text and energizing drawings . . . which skillfully balance bright colors, patterns, and textures, should put a spring in the step of any reluctant kindergartner: who wouldn’t want to be thought of as ‘the charming, the wonderful and the kind’ class sovereign?”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

*
“The playful illustrations use texture and shadow to great effect, with vibrant colors and dynamic shapes and lines sustaining readers' interest on every page. Text and visuals work together beautifully to generate excitement and confidence in children getting ready to enter kindergarten. The little king's smiling brown face is refreshing and heartwarming. . . . Necessary nourishment, infectiously joyous.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

*
“Joyful and empowering. . . . With the introduction of each part of this brand new day comes the assurance that nothing is too difficult for the King of Kindergarten. The vibrant and cheerful hand-drawn and digital illustrations feature a diverse classroom of children all helping one another. . . . Lots of emphasis on being a kind and brave classmate and ruler. . . . This marvelous story will give each reader an opportunity to see themselves as ‘the charming, the wonderful, and the kind King of Kindergarten.’ Perfect for storytime or one-on-one readings, this book is an absolute first purchase.”—School Library Journal, starred review

“Upbeat picture book. . . . Includes important milestones such as making friends, sharing, playing together, and going through the school day without any major issues, and Brantley-Newton adds clever imaginative details to these familiar scenes. The illustrations’ bright colors reflect the book’s positive tone as it conveys the joys of growing up, starting school, and learning school routines. This will make an excellent addition to early childhood classrooms, or as a tool to help future kindergarteners understand what a typical school day can look like. Best of all, this story is free of disasters and jitters, making it an affirming choice for children in need of a confidence boost.”—Booklist

“Barnes’s direct-address text is lighthearted and reassuring, with its offstage narrator speaking directly to this imaginary-crown-wearing child—and to all rising kindergartners, first-day jitters or no. Brantley-Newton’s cartoony mixed-media illustrations, hand-drawn and digitally colored, are bursting with color, pattern, and texture, with the brown-skinned protagonist surrounded by warmth (a smiley-faced sun that watches over him) and comfort (a cozy-looking patchwork quilt, stuffies, and finger-painted pictures in his bedroom; a school population of cheerful, brighteyed children of various ethnicities—and even the class fish is smiling!).”—The Horn Book

Author

Derrick Barnes is a National Book Award Finalist for his graphic novel Victory. Stand!-Raising My Fist For Justice, which also won the  YALSA Excellence in Young Adult Nonfiction Award, and a Coretta Scott King Award Author Honor. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed, multi-award-winning picture book Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut which received a Newbery Honor, a Coretta Scott King Author Honor, the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award, and the Kirkus Prize for Young Readers. Derrick is also the creator of the New York Times bestselling companion picture books, The King of Kindergarten and The Queen of Kindergarten. He is a native of Kansas City, MO, but currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his enchanting wife, Dr. Tinka Barnes, and their four sons, the Mighty Barnes Brothers. View titles by Derrick Barnes
Vanessa Brantley-Newton is a self-taught illustrator, doll maker, and crafter who studied fashion illustration at FIT and children's book illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York. She is the author and illustrator of Grandma's Purse, Just Like Me, and Becoming Vanessa, and has illustrated numerous children's books, including the New York Times bestsellers The King of Kindergarten and The Queen of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes and Sewing Stories by Barbara Herkert. Vanessa currently makes her nest in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband, daughter, and a very rambunctious cat named Stripes. Learn more about Vanessa and her artwork at VanessaBrantleyNewton.com and on Facebook and Instagram. View titles by Vanessa Brantley-Newton