Hello, Are You New?

Children - Grade K-3rd
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 02/03/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

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.

Astrid Iustulin

Were you not excited and, at the same time, a little anxious on the first day of school? This is what Possum, the funny protagonist of Hello, Are You New? by Carmen Cassar, feels too. Young readers will follow Possum during his discoveries and experiences in the new school and share in his curiosity and worries. Possum's day begins with breakfast, and then we follow this little creature in his first meeting with new friends and the teacher and discover how he feels about various school activities. The book also invites young readers to share their experiences and answer questions about their activities and first day at school.

Whether your children have already had their first day at school or have yet to experience it, Hello, Are You New? is a book I recommend because it will help them better understand their feelings on that day. Author Carmen Cassar tells a delightful story, and above all, she explains very well all the wonder and fear one can feel on the first day of school. I liked that each activity Possum does inspires questions for young readers. In this way, they will feel part of the story and have the chance to reflect on their own experiences. Books like Hello, Are You New? help children think and grow, so I recommend it to all parents, especially those who want to start conversations with their kids but do not know how to do it. This book has solutions for adults and children alike.

Rosie Malezer

Hello, Are You New? is an interactive children's book written by Carmen Cassar and illustrated by Yushi Xie. A happy and excited student is about to start school for the very first time but is extremely nervous. Planning for the first day is important, starting with a healthy breakfast. Remember to brush your teeth and wear something nice, as good health and first impressions always make a difference. Ensure you pack a water bottle to keep you refreshed and label your school belongings and clothing to ensure nothing goes missing. At school, you will meet your teacher for the year and also will be assigned your name tags and a desk to sit at. If you need to borrow something from the teacher, always mind your manners and say please and thank you. Painting and reading will help you explore your artistic side and teach you how to listen well. Sports, dancing, and singing will start to shape and energize the person you become in the future. After lots of exciting things to do, it will be nap time so that you can rest for a spell. Learning your alphabet and numbers are both very important. With so many new things on your first day, you will be excited to go home and tell your family everything you did and learned on your very first day at school.

I absolutely loved the design of Hello, Are You New? Not only does Carmen Cassar show both children and parents what to expect on a child's first day of school, but it also outlines a dialogue of how to ask your child questions without making your child feel overwhelmed at the end of the day. Questions such as what, why, when, who, and where will be used often to enable any child to learn how to easily communicate their new experience and adventure in a way that will also assist with their writing and speaking skills. Although a first day can be very daunting to some children (and parents), it can also be one of the most exciting of a young child's life, as they learn the right and wrong way to do things without a huge confrontation. Hello, Are You New? will definitely prepare new students for what awaits them on their first day at school. I believe Carmen Cassar's tale will help both child and parent to tackle the big change between home life and school. I recommend it to be read to children aged 3-6 years of age to prepare for the educational system which will help sculpt the direction of life ahead.

Philip Van Heusen

Hello, Are You New? by Carmen Cassar is a delightful children’s picture book dealing with the uncertainties and excitement when attending school for the first time or going to a new school. Possum is soon to discover the wonders of education and all the fun that school provides with education. One thing Possum learns is that everyone is different and unique. At school, children will make new friends, learn how to read, play at recess, spend time doing artwork, and explore the world around them. They are also taught manners and how to share, which are very important concepts for living in society. One of the greatest things children learn at school is how to read which allows them to learn anything through the wonderful world of print (or e-books). Your child will enjoy this book and the conversations it opens.

Being new is always fear-inducing while also being exciting. Hello, Are You New? by Carmen Cassar will allay your child’s fears and increase their excitement with cute rhyming texts and questions that lead to wonderful conversations. Every other page has rhyming text while the next page has questions for you and your child to discuss. These fantastic conversation starters will increase your child’s communication ability as well as encourage them to keep on learning and growing. The illustrations by Yushi Xie add even more delight to this inspiring book. If you are looking for a book for your child who is beginning a new school, this is it. You will enjoy reading this book with and to your child and the discussions the book prompts will make memories you both will remember.