I received a review copy of Rufus Goes to School in the mail and I fell in love with this book the moment I slipped it out of the envelope! It’s just so grabby. The colors, the simplicity, the chalkboard use for the title, and the little piggy. Even my husband said the word cute when he saw it.
Confession: I happen to know the author. Kim and I were in a writers group together when we both lived in Northern California. So I am obviously rooting for her success. But even if I didn’t know the author, this book still tugs at my heartstrings.
This is the story of a persistent pig named Rufus who wants to go to school to learn how to read. When the principal denies him entrance citing that pigs can get unruly in school, Rufus tries again and again to be allowed in. You’ll have to read for yourself what Rufus did to finally appeal to the principal, and what he likes most about school. I can assure you, it’s quite satisfying. And luckily for us, this story has sparked a future story about Rufus (Can you say ahoy maties?) scheduled for Spring 2015. I’m not sure Rufus fans can wait that long!
Anyway, you should see the illustrations in this book. Artist Valeri Gorbachev’s ink and watercolor drawings are DE-LIGHT-FUL. The pig’s perpetual sweetness emits from every page. I adore how he captured Rufus’s enthusiasm, too. Something on just about every page makes you smile. I personally enjoyed the snout prints on the window scene. And this may seem minor, but the font fits perfectly with his art style. (For all you artists, it’s called McKracken.)
So kudos to the whole design team!
And yeah, I know school has already started. But this book still works to read to the children who aren’t old enough to go to school, but are pressing their little noses against windows as they watch the school bus pull up, wishing they were the ones boarding it.