Jake Starts School

By Michael Wright; Michael Wright (Illustrator)
(Square Fish, Paperback, 9780312608842, 48pp.)

Publication Date: July 20, 2010

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Fall 2008 Kids' List
“The first day of school finds Jake a nervous wreck. As they were in the prequel, Jake Stays Awake, his parents are the picture of sainthood as they work through his 'problem' with him. Wright captures the most common of scenes from such inspired angles, with amusing details to spare.”
-- Suzanne Perry, The Secret Garden, Seattle, WA


It’s Jake’s first day of school. He doesn’t want his mom and dad to leave him there, alone. So, Jake and his parents have to spend the first day of school together. Finger painting. Sharing snacks. Playing on the seesaw. Will Jake ever be able to stay at school on his own? The answer will delight and reassure children and their (anxious) parents!

About the Author

Michael Wright is the author and illustrator of the picture books Jake Stays Awake and Jake Goes Peanuts. He has worked in advertising as a copywriter and art director, creating some of the most memorable fish sticks commercials you’ve ever seen, and he has also worked designing animation and sets for television. He lives in Manhattan Beach, California, with his wife, Cheryl, and three children, Mason, Sloane, and Paxton, all of whom survived their first days of school.

Praise For Jake Starts School

Praise for Jake Starts School:


“Bug-eyed Jake is back with another problem in this very funny addition to the canon of stories about starting kindergarten . . . Wright’s background in cartoons and film is clearly evident, and his eccentric portrayal of people who all look like giant thumbs with arms and legs is his trademark. The preposterously shaped characters, pithy rhymes and the many emotions expressed by just a few differently drawn lines make this an enjoyable graphic experience.” —Kirkus Reviews


“Michael Wright’s bright, bold illustrations in Jake Starts School look like they are a cartoon!  The book is full of humor and funny bird’s-eye view perspectives, and it’s Homer Simpson-esque in a good, ages four-to-seven kind of way.” —Bookpage


“The author uses gentle humor to portray an extreme case of separation anxiety and show how absurd it would be to not actually separate.” —San Francisco Chronicle


"A hilarious tale of nerves." —New York Post


“The double-page, exaggeratedly humorous visuals, some quite outrageous, distinguish the tale from the usual first-day-of-school story. The brief, large-print text is supplemented with speech balloons and other asides. And of course the happy ending is reassuring to fearful youngsters.” —Children’s Literature

“The over-the-top humor of Jake Stays Awake (Feiwel & Friends, 2007) continues as Jake begins school. He and his pushover parents end up spending the first day of school trying to share tiny chairs, seesaw rides, and even a tricycle, since Jake will not let go of Mom and Dad.” —School Library Journal

Praise for Jake Stays Awake:


“Co-sleeping taken to the extreme is the topic of this debut. Wright’s illustrations hysterically expand upon the text. The characters’ small eyes and elongated heads make for very droll facial expressions, while hidden details and the family dog’s antics will keep readers in stitches. Co-sleeping parents who want to reclaim their territory may want to take notes.” —Kirkus Reviews


“Pleasantly rhyming text is paired with droll, stylized full- and double-page illustrations in bold colors and varying perspectives, and sight gags extend the fun for children and adults. All in all, a delicious treat of a bedtime book.” —School Library Journal

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