Italian author and illustrator Eva Montanari brings us a fresh angle on the first day of school in A Very Full Morning. Little Tooth is a rabbit whose head is full of thoughts as she awaits her visit to a very special place. She faces the predicament of many a school child as she lies in bed unable to sleep the night before school begins. Morning does arrive, however, and having donned a worthy dress and consumed her breakfast, Little Tooth sets off for school. The journey is full of an overwhelming number of doors, books, bags and unfamiliar faces, and with each subsequent illustration the viewer feels the gnawing apprehension that engulfs the rabbit's heart. Montanari's acrylics with colored pencil present a unique perspective, with the character's elongated ears and school hallways that twist and turn in surreal movement. Tension builds until a surprise announcement made when Little Tooth enters the classroom sets everyone at ease.
Jennifer Robinson is a teacher in Baltimore.