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*Yellowbelly and Plum Go to School* by Nathan  Hale
Yellowbelly and Plum Go to School
by Nathan Hale
Ages 4-8 32 pages Putnam July 2007 Hardcover    

Yellowbelly is a friendly little monster whose best friend is his purple teddy bear, Plum. They share together, play silly games together – they do everything together. When Yellowbelly has to go to school for the first time, then of course Plum must go, too.

Yellowbelly introduces Plum to everyone at school, but Plum is shy. At recess, while Yellowbelly is busy climbing the jungle gym, Plum meets a new friend and wanders off. Yellowbelly becomes very upset when he can’t find Plum, but it turns out that Plum has been having adventures of his own, playing basketball and making friends.

When Yellowbelly and his teddy finally reunite, Plum teaches Yellowbelly how to play basketball and the two friends together teach the other children how to play their games.

This sweet and colorful book will clearly resonate with any child who has a beloved stuffed toy and may harbor a fear of losing it. There are also bigger lessons here about stretching one’s wings and fearlessly embarking on new adventures.

The colorful, energetic drawings of monsters and children jump off the page. Yellowbelly looks somewhat like Totoro from Hiyao Miyazaki’s famous movie by the same name - which is to say, utterly adorable.

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  Usha Reynolds/2009 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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