Following Jobs People Do (2012) and Sports People Play (2015), Heling, Hembrook, and Davies are back with another Clothesline Clues book, this time focusing on the different roles people might play in a school. As with the earlier books, a short stanza sets up the scene: “High on the clotheslines / hang clue after clue. / It’s the first day of school! / Who wants to meet you?” The two spreads that follow first encourage readers to guess whose belongings are hanging on the clothesline and then reveal the answer. A coat; yellow hat, gloves, and safety vest; and a hand-held stop sign must belong to “your crossing guard.” A classroom teacher’s things include a button-down shirt, bow tie, sport coat, book bag, and a class roster. The other jobs include cafeteria cook, custodian, and gym and art teachers. The final clothesline holds myriad pants, shirts, dresses, scarves, coats, and backpacks that belong to the new friends anxious to meet readers. Davies’ people are diverse in race and ability (several wear glasses, and one uses a wheelchair), and one girl wears hijab. Most of the adults are the opposite gender of the typical stereotype: Both the classroom teacher and the cafeteria worker are brown-skinned men, and the gym teacher and custodian are brown-skinned women. Davies’ bright pencil, mixed-media, and digital illustrations feature white backgrounds to help readers focus on the clues and on the things they will notice in their own classrooms. Another solid entry.
What friendly faces will be encountered on a child’s first day of school? Look at the clotheslines to find out! As the title indicates, clothing and accessories hang from clotheslines throughout this book. Readers are given pages of textual and visual clues alternating with the reveal of the character described in their expected environment. For example, “Raincoat and warm gloves,/a hat and stop sign, too./Safety vest and badge./Who wants to meet you?/Your crossing guard!” Other clothesline clues reveal a teacher, cafeteria worker, custodian, gym teacher, art teacher, and new friends. The predictability and welcoming nature of each segment will help young children find comfort in the story as they are faced with the potentially nerve-wracking introduction to school. A variety of children and adults are depicted in the images, adding inclusivity and connectedness to the story that is not directly stated by the text. Every illustration gives readers the opportunity to name recognizable objects and places, enhancing the readability of this book. VERDICT Whether readers are entering school for the first time or are old pros, all will enjoy the guessing game and overall message of this lovely story.
—School Library Journal
Items hanging on a clothesline provide hints about the people that readers might encounter at school. The story’s text takes the form of snappy stanzas: “Book bag and new shirt, / a class roster to review. / Bow tie and jacket. / Who wants to meet you?” Based on the clothesline clues, the answer to this riddle is a teacher—a smiling figure shown in a colorful classroom. The story moves forward in this manner, depicting a wide variety of school personnel, from a crossing guard to a cafeteria cook to a custodian. It concludes on a high note with a diverse group of students at play. Andy Robert Davies’ vibrant, upbeat illustrations make this a title that parents and kids will appreciate as summer comes to an end. As this skill-building book shows, it takes a village to ensure that a school runs smoothly.