The King of Kindergarten

by Derrick Barnes and Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Royalty is a metaphor used to playfully describe what an African American boy’s... read more

Royalty is a metaphor used to playfully describe what an African American boy’s experiences will be on his first day of kindergarten. When the boy awakens, the sun “sits and shines behind your head like a crown.” The child is called “King of Kindergarten” by his parents, who don’t emphasize any hierarchy, just affirmation throughout the upbeat narrative. The funny, future-tense voice of his father in the second-person narrative is also full of practical advice: “You will show your bravery at recess when you go up to one of your classmates and ask, 'Marie, do you wanna play with me?’” Bright, hand-drawn and digital artwork adds to the humor, in addition to showing the boy’s affirming, Afro-centric home and a diverse cast of children and adults in the community and at school. (Ages 3–7)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2020

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