First Day By Andrew Daddo




This is the second of two books we’re reviewing, with the theme of starting school. Most schools have already started back for the year, and this book may help ease the nerves of some little ones and their older ones.


First Day outlines the morning routine of a mother and daughter, preparing for the first day of school for the daughter. There’s lots to organise and some pep-talk required along the way. Everyone needs to be a little brave, but it will all be okay.

I don’t want to give away the sweet ending, but suffice to say, it put a wide smile on my face.

Why I love it:

Mostly, I love the ending, which I’ve already told you I’m not going to give away, so that leaves me with not a lot to write in this section…

There is one line in the book that I particularly love, though:

‘Remember what we always say: the best bit about waving goodbye is the next wave will be hello.’

This is a line I want to commit to memory. When my daughter started school (she’s now just started Grade 3!) I remember saying to her that it was nice to miss each other during the day, because it was a good reminder of how lucky we were to have someone we loved that much. That line about waving goodbye, reminded me of that and I think it would be a lovely way to help ease some separation anxiety.

Themes/ideas to discuss with your child:

  • Starting something new
  • Being brave
  • Being independent
  • Making friends
  • Worries
  • Excitement
  • Change
  • Growing up
  • Being reunited
  • Looking after each other
  • The love between parent and child

Questions to ask your child:

Before reading:

  • What do you think this book might be about?
  • Do you think this is a fiction book (a story) or a non-fiction book (facts)?
  • Is this a book you want to read? Why/why not?
  • How did you feel on your first day of school? OR How are you feeling about your first day of school?
  • Is there anything you were/are nervous about?
  • How do you think the girl on the cover is feeling?

After reading:

  • Did you enjoy this book? Why/why not?
  • What do you think is/is going to be the best part of school?
  • What do you think is/is going to be the hardest part about school?
  • Who was telling this story, the Mum or the daughter?
  • Why do you think the Mum needed to be brave, too?
  • How do you think both Mum and daughter are feeling at the end of the day?

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