CM . . .
. Volume XI Number 6 . . . .November 12, 2004
School is over,
Created expressly for children in kindergarten, perhaps more so for their caregivers, Loris Lesynski's Zigzag: Zoems for Zindergarten explores this inaugural year of school the way a kindergartner might--with exuberant words and simple, cheerful drawings.
For the over-five set, she brings the memories rushing back. "Kindergarten Rocks" speaks of that first day, first impressions: arriving in the classroom, eyes wide, taking it all in. So many kids! All those books and toys, sort of like at home, but oh, so much more! Walls made cheerful with coloured paper letters, numbers, and pictures. Deciding I like it, thinking ok, I'll stay. Why not - Lesynski says it best -- kindergarten rocks!
Lesynski remembers it all. The way the teacher's theme dominated your thoughts for a month. For most of us, it was fall or shapes or Canada, but Lesynski isn't so pedestrian. In "Zigzag," she sees "zigzag here and zigzag there/see some zigzags everywhere." Another time, it's "stripes...stripes we paint/stripes we draw/news of special stripes/we saw/stripes," thanks to "Mrs. Zebra."
Some things never change. More than the profound thoughts provoked by a dizzy hamster ("Hamster Rock 'n' Roll"), more than the effort of cutting ("Scissors"), counting ("Zero"), chanting the alphabet ("The Alphabet"), the rule that says Sit is the most reliable constant in the school universe. Sit. Sit still, as in the poem "Sit on your Bottom." And sit we all did, somehow, until the end of the day, when we could finally let loose, a la "Tee Hee Hee." Lesynski demonstrates well her understanding of kids. She knows that the school day doesn't stop at the last bell; there's still the journey home, full of perils like dogs and interesting stops like mud, and bits of advice from parents filtering through. It's all part-and-parcel of a kindergartener's school day - just as we remember it, and just as our kids will too, after their year of kindergarten.
Cora Lee is a Vancouver, BC, writer and editor.
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