Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary
Author: Deborah Diesen
Illustrator: Dan Santat
Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers
Today is school picture day. For one young student, it’s the day he’s been eagerly awaiting for months. He wakes up with a horrendous case of bedhead, and his day soon fills up with dirty clothes, syrup spills, getting into trouble, paint splatters, and a scowling, sickly face. His day has gone... exactly to plan! He’s so delighted that an unexpected smile crosses his face, and the photographer snaps his picture at that exact moment. All his hard work has been ruined, and he is not happy at all. His mom, on the other hand, thinks it’s his best photo ever.
This picture book is pure fun. The story is relatable and humorous, especially with the unexpected twists. We never learn the main character’s name, but there is a good chance that we each know somebody like him. The illustrations were created in Adobe Photoshop and perfectly capture the book’s spirit. The endpapers model the pages of a school yearbook and even include a spot to add your own photo. A great choice for a read-aloud all year long, this book would be especially fitting at the beginning of the school year.