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Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite
If you have a preschooler who fears the first day of school, Si Mama, Si Papa just might help the child get past his or her fears and into a sense of adventure. Author Nancy Scalabroni has written the book in both Spanish and English so that bilingual families can assist children in going from what may be spoken in the home to what will be more commonplace in school. Little Helen has very supportive parents and yet, she fears the first day of school. She has always been a bit shy and she thinks if she cannot hide behind her mother's skirt, she will have no safe haven. Helen's parents assure her that Mary and Jesus will be with her as she makes her way into the new school atmosphere. The family goes to church and little Helen prays for guidance.
Even though Helen doesn't want to go to school, her parents tell her that oftentimes we do not want to do things that seem frightening or uncomfortable, but that obeying is part of what God expects of us. I would like to have seen a bit more discrimination when using this concept with young children, but it is one which flows well with the religious concept. Helen believes her mother's advice so she goes to her classroom to begin a school among a room full of strangers. As Helen's mother worries throughout the day, Helen gradually learns a different life lesson.