Cover image for Enrico starts school
Enrico starts school
Middleton, Charlotte.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Dial Books for Young Readers, [2004]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Enrico the cat starts school, but at first he doesn't know how to make friends.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.4 0.5 80669.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
J PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books

On Order



Enrico can already ride a bike, chase mice, and make delicious sardine sandwiches. And he enjoys playing at home with his little brother, Chico. But now he faces a new challenge&150starting school. It's hard to make friends at first, but with a helpful idea from Chico, Enrico discovers the very best way to meet a new pal&150just be yourself!Charlotte Middleton's illustrations are bold and stylish, and Enrico is truly one of the cutest new cats in town. This warm, funny tale unveils the surprises&150and rewards&150of going to school

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

PreS-Gr. 2. Five-year-old Enrico the cat likes riding his bike, sardine in lobster-jelly sandwiches, and sneaking up on his wind-up mouse. But starting school is daunting, especially the idea of making friends. His first attempts to fit in don't go as hoped: he's no good at roller-skating and he doesn't speak up in class. Then Enrico decides just to be himself: he raises his hand and answers his teacher's questions, and he does recess activities that he enjoys, which puts him on the right track to making friends. Short, simple sentences and brief, descriptive asides in a smaller typeface explicate the illustrations and events. With an all-feline cast, the mixed-media collage art is a whimsical blend of sophisticated and childlike; the pages are filled with bright swaths of color, pattern, and texture, and the shapes are sharpened with black outlined details. First-time students will understand the challenges Enrico faces and be comforted by his ultimate success. --Shelle Rosenfeld Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

With a cast of anthropomorphized cats and a generous helping of low-key empathy, Middleton (Do You Still Love Me?) looks at how the transition to school can stir up a tsunami of anxieties in even the most confident child. Enrico is an accomplished four-year-old ("He could make a magnificent sardine in lobster- jelly sandwich") and the idol of his younger brother Chico. But when Enrico enters school at age 5, he loses confidence: he is reluctant to hold up his hand in class ("even though he knew some of the answers") and draws a blank when it comes to fitting in and making friends. As in her previous work, Middleton achieves an effective visual and emotional counterpoint by combining bright, saturated colors with a poignantly scraggly ink line. The palette keeps the mood reassuringly upbeat, while the fine line conveys Enrico's vulnerability. In many of the pictures, Middleton subtly enriches the emotional texture by adding arrowed, handwritten annotations-one example points to Enrico's "Funny new school shorts" before he leaves for his first day, an omen of the uneasiness to come. But with sound advice from Chico to simply be himself, Enrico relaxes, opens up in class and even makes a new chum on the playground. Without moralizing or melodrama, Middleton tells nascent school-goers that it's okay to be scared-but even better to do what comes naturally. Ages 4-up. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 1-Enrico is a pretty competent cat. He rides his bike, knows how to sneak up on his wind-up mouse, and makes a "magnificent sardine in lobster-jelly sandwich." Trouble begins when he starts school, however, and is too shy to raise his paw in class. He fares no better on the playground or in the lunchroom, where his toy is ridiculed and his special sandwich stolen. Eventually, his younger brother advises him "to try just- being himself." Enrico raises his paw, stops attempting to impress the in-crowd, and makes a friend in short order. While the story covers no new territory, Middleton's take on the situation is fresh and appealing. The simple text, enhanced by clever side commentary, is amplified by the full-bleed collage illustrations. The artist manages to give the pictures a clean, uncluttered look while incorporating details such as fish-patterned curtains and fish skeletons on lunch plates that bring a sense of wholeness to this imaginary world. Enrico deserves a place in the growing canon of first-day-jitters stories, keeping company with Kevin Henkes's Wemberly Worried (Greenwillow, 2000) and Kathryn Lasky's Lunch Bunnies (Little, Brown, 1996).-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.