King of the Classroom


At the start of this important new day the King of the Classroom cleans Ye Royal Toothlets and settles for a Royal Breakfast. He tells Daddy that before long, he’ll be taller than him. Today, the first day of school is a marker where the King of the Classroom is determined to live up to everything he knows to be true.

Therefore he  greets everyone ‘with a brilliant, beaming, majestic smile.’ He listens to the ‘classroom rules and begins ‘important matters such as shapes, the alphabet, and the never-ending mystery of numbers’. Later, he asks Marie to play with, and shares his snack with Howie. The days will progress and grow stronger and bigger and more wonderful for this is the way when you are the King of the Classroom.

Derrick Baines and Vanessa Brantley-Newton have created a richly messaged, warm, positive, beautifully toned and encouraging picture book perfect for new school starters and returners. This title would make anyone stepping into new horizons feel they were equal to new challenges.


King of the Classroom

Derrick Barnes and Vanessa Brantley- Newton

(Scallywag Press)– hardback

‘Mummy says that today you are going to be King of the Classroom‘. You must begin by cleaning ‘Ye Royal Toothlets‘ with a ‘golden brush‘ before cleaning your face with ‘a cloth bearing the family crest.‘ Thereafter, what more must you need to do? Perhaps ‘dress yourself neatly in handpicked garments‘. It seems that you’re growing to somebody who will be taller than Daddy one day.
It’s your first day of school, ‘a grand fortress’ where ‘you’ll hold your head high and greet everyone.‘ There is so much to remember and act upon as you step forward.
King of the Classroom is a glorious, positive, enabling picture book. There are differences  between the central character and a British reader such as taking a school bus or wearing home clothes. However the significance of this experience, alongside the feelings, are the same wherever in the world children start school. Furthermore, Derrick Barnes’ message of ruling the day, your actions and behaviour, is affirmative. Vanessa Brantley- Newton’s  pictures are warm toned, outwardly focused, forward moving. At every point of this school day, our King follows the direction, so that he shows ‘bravery at playtime by asking ‘Do you wanna play with me?Bookwagon welcomes and recommends this important picture book.


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