[W]hen he arrives at the playground on his first day, with a ship’s biscuit for his snack and a stowaway — Poll the parrot — under his hat, Jake is intimidated. Things get worse when Poll escapes and causes havoc in the classroom. After a few initial hiccups, however, Jake settles in and finds his teacher friendly and learning fun. So much so that the next day, his “whole bloomin’ family” come to join him. From Alan MacDonald’s jaunty text to Magda Brol’s lively illustrations, this is a terrific, funny book that should offer encouragement to anyone who’s feeling daunted by school.