Reading/Interest Level: Toddler, Preschool
Author: Rebecca Ashdown
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
On Flo’s first day of preschool she arrives with her red bucket full of fish for her lunch. She meets Bob who is pulling a train. After painting a picture, she notices that her lunch is there but her bucket is gone. She looks all around for her red bucket walking right past Bob who has a red bucket on his head for a hat. Next she sees that Bob is building a block tower but doesn’t notice that he is standing on a red bucket. She then sees some bucket shaped sand castles and listens to Bob playing with a red bucket drum. Finally Flo finds her bucket at the bottom of the slide and realizes that Bob is stuck at the top. Flo fills her bucket with water and she and Bob have fun sliding down the watery slide. Bob goes home with the bucket on his head and Flo goes home with the train.
Cute illustrations with bright backgrounds and simple stencil-like shapes add color and interest to the penguin characters of this book which is about sharing and the first day of school. Children love make believe and questions about what Bob pretended the bucket was could be asked. It will be amusing for children when Flo doesn’t recognize that her bucket is being used for something else. Discussions can be generated about how to share and how Bob should ask before borrowing Flo’s bucket. Questions or fears that Flo might feel on her first day of school could be addressed. This is a simple story that young children will enjoy reading with a parent or teacher.