Publishers Weekly - First Day at Zoo School
Dillard makes excellent use of comic-book elements like sequential panels and speech balloons in this witty, well-observed story. Amanda, an exuberant panda, is delighted to be at school, but Alfred, the introverted alligator, who she decides is her new best friend, is less eager. “Why do I have to go to school?” he wonders. “I know so much already.” Amanda’s ebullience only grates on Alfred’s nerves, resulting in a blowup that gets resolved the next day. Dillard keeps the story’s messaging subtle, and her crisp images and candid storytelling capture the give-and-take inherent in many early friendships.