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Reviewed by Courtnee Turner Hoyle for Readers' Favorite
Carmen Cassar's children's book, Hello, Are You New?, is a story about Possum's first day at school. Possum goes over his morning routine—from breakfast to brushing his teeth and dressing, meeting new friends, and learning how to read, count, and play organized sports. He makes discoveries about his new school, from the rugs and cushions in the reading area to the equipment in the playground. Possum's experiences are detailed, and questions pertaining to his adventures are shown on the following page. He shares the high points of his day with his caregiver as they leave, and the book closes with a question for children to answer about their school.
Possum is a relatable and loveable character with adorable animal friends. Children will be drawn to the fun illustrations that pair well with the text. Carmen Cassar has had time as an educator, so she understands the uncertainty children face as they enter a new environment. The author's questions coincide with Possum's experiences, giving children tools for the times when they may be unsure about the best way to start a conversation with another child. When read aloud, the book provides a perfect opportunity for caregivers and educators to pause and ask children to answer the questions posed by Cassar. The story and accompanying inquiries will help young children when they are in similar situations as they adjust to a different environment. Hello, Are You New? is a great selection for youngsters who are preparing to go to school or daycare.