I know, kids are ready to run out the door by now, and you may be thinking, “End of school year storytime? WHAT?” But bear with me, because John Schu’s This is a School is a beautifully crafted look at a community, and how a school is the beating heart of a community. Using brief, definitive sentences, John Schu tells the story: “This is a kid. / This is a kid in a class. / This is a class in a hall. / This is a hall in a school – / WELCOME!” Using repetition, he invites readers to look and listen as he goes through a school day, where children ask and learn, share and help, hope and heal, fail and try; with alternating spreads, we see what happens in the school day, and how it contributes to communities growing, celebrating, transforming. An inclusive group of families and cheerful mixed media artwork present a thriving urban community. What a wonderful way to send learners off into their communities for summer break, and an equally sterling way to welcome them back.
John Schu is a former classroom teacher and school librarian, a former Ambassador of School Libraries for Scholastic Book Fairs, and a part-time lecturer at Rutgers University. His blog, Mr. Schu Reads, is an excellent resource for anyone who loves kidlit. You can find him on Instagram and Twitter.
Veronica Miller Jamison is an illustrator and textile designer who trained as a fashion designer. She is the illustrator of Suzanne Slade’s A Computer Called Katherine. Find more of her illustration work at her website.
This is a School has a starred review from Booklist.