Easing First Day Jitters: Back to School with Mac Book Review

Thursday, August 24, 2023
Heading back to school is an exciting time for kids. There are new friends to make, new routines to try, and plenty of new facts to learn. But for some kids, the idea of heading back to school in the Fall causes anxiety and stress. Whether your child is excited or anxious about the first day of school, Mac the Apple is here to help with a brand new family tradition called Back to School with Mac! Read on to see how this cute plush apple and matching storybook by Kim DiLoreto can help ease first day jitters and put the cool back in school. 

My posts are designed for easy reading- I write a lot, but feel free to skim the headlines to find what you're looking for! Or Pin this handy image and read the whole post later!

Here's my usual disclaimer: I contacted Mac's creator and author, Kim DiLoreto, to see if she would let me try out a Mac kit for The Jersey Momma's Boy, who is not a huge fan of school, and certainly not looking forward to heading back in September. Kim was kind enough to send me an autographed book copy in exchange for an honest post. But mostly, she seemed eager to help The Jersey Momma's Boy. She knows what it's like to have a kiddo who's anxious about starting school, and that's why she created Mac in the first place. 

What is Back to School with Mac?

Your new tradition begins with Mac, an adorable plush apple who fits in the palm of your hand. He even wears a little backpack with a velcro closure, perfect for hiding tiny treasures in. Mac comes with his own storybook, Back to School with Mac, which was written by Kim DiLoreto and adorably illustrated by Alvina Kwong. The book tells the story of Mac, a sweet little apple who appears when summer ends and school is beginning. Mac helps ease back to school jitters by getting kids excited about the days to come. Kids can play with Mac during the day- posing for pictures, reading, riding bikes, even taking Mac on trips with them. We took Mac to our local library. 

Mac says he is going to check out the book, 'Top Dance Tips' back there...

At night, while your kids sleep, Mac brings magic, mischief, and surprises! Maybe they'll wake to find Mac upside down on the mantle, or maybe he's hanging out with their toothbrushes in the bathroom. Sometimes Mac can leave treats in backpacks or trinkets for them to find. Do you see what I'm saying here (wink, wink)? 

We taught Mac all about our great state of New Jersey!

There's a spot in the back of the book for you to record when your back to school tradition starts. You can even take a photo with Mac every year on the first day of school.

What Age is Back to School with Mac For?

Mac's book is geared towards a variety of ages. Whether you have a preschooler getting ready for their very first year, or a third grader who knows the ropes, Mac can reach them all. One of my favorite illustrations in the book has Mac wondering what grade your child is in, 'is it first or second or even grade three?....' As a former teacher, I often feel like we expect kids to grow up too quickly. Many kids enjoy reading picture books as they get older (I know I still do!). It's also fun for older siblings to read picture books to younger siblings. So it's wonderful that Mac mentions so many different grades, and acknowledges that it's okay to feel nervous about school no matter what grade you're in.

Mac says, 'Let's go for a swim!' Okay, Mac, but you can't go IN the pool with us...

What Can I Do with Mac?

I know what you might be thinking- is it one more thing you have to remember to do? Do you have to move Mac every day like a mischievous elf? Will you forget or run out of ideas? You can do whatever your heart desires! Maybe Mac just wants to sit on your child's nightstand or leave school trinkets at the breakfast table. His evening magic doesn't have to be stressful or complicated for you either. The Jersey Momma's Boy thought Mac was so cute the moment he set eyes on him. 'I don't want Mac to have to hide each night,' he told me. 'Can't he just stay here in my room?' Of course! But I know The Jersey Momma's Boy is still going to be stressed in September, so I think Mac might have a few surprises in store while the boy is at school (more winking).

Even Spot the Jersey Doggy wanted to meet Mac when he first arrived!

Where Can I Buy Back to School with Mac?

Back to School with Mac is available online. You can also follow Mac's adventures on  Instagram and Facebook.  

Back to School with Mac
written by Kim DiLoreto
illustrated by Alvina Kwong
hardcover, 8.5"x 8.5" color illustrations 
Mac the plush apple is about 3.25"x 4" 
(both book and apple are high quality items, in my personal opinion, 
and would make a great gift,too!)

1 comment

  1. So cute. It is August and that means back to school season is upon us once again. My students would love it.


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