Reviews of children's and young adult books old and new

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Classroom Chaos

This is the Teacher by Rhonda Gowler Greene, illustrated by Mike Lester

"This is a book about a teacher all ready for school. And also the students who rush through the door and drop sacks of lunches that smash! on the floor. Not to mention the snake that escaped, the cupcakes that flew, the bad bee that buzzed, the fountain that clogged, the kid who got sick, and-Eek! There's the hamster that spins in a wheel!" From the first line you know this is going to be a crazy day at school. From the first few lines the craziness and chaos continue to build and be repeated on each page until then end when the school day is finally over.

This book makes me chuckle. I remember days that felt like that while teaching, nothing could go right and everything that could go wrong did. The students are not being naughty they are just a bit excited and clumsy and that is all you need. The story repeats certain lines on every page you get the feeling of how long this day is going to be for the 'teacher that is all ready for school'. I think kids will get a big kick out of all the things that go wrong throughout the day. As the words repeat so do some of the illustrations so be on the look out for that snake, the hamster, a bad bee, and some ants. The illustrations look like they were drawn very quickly with lines that do not connect or overlap. This adds to the haggard feeling the teacher has as she goes through the day. The book is filled with bright colors which can help you find the items that are repeated. The repetition in words and images helps young readers to anticipate what is coming next as you are reading and is a good tool for when they are learning how to read. Overall I would recommend for children ages 3-6.

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