Happy Birthday, Mrs. Millie!


It’s time for everyone’s favorite silly teacher to celebrate her birthday!

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It’s time for everyone’s favorite silly teacher to celebrate her birthday!

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
The children in Mrs. Millie's class love their red-headed vivacious teacher. They especially like the way she plays with words so that when she tells them to hang up their book bugs, they giggle as they put away their book bags. When they learn her birthday is coming up, they decide to celebrate in style and put up baboon shaped balloons, serve bear-faced cub-cakes. Of course, the children have had a little help from their parrots/parents but everyone is ready to do it again next year. Teachers who know the importance of word play for language and literacy development could introduce Mrs. Millie talk as a classroom activity. The rules are a little more complex than Amelia Bedelia's rhyming mix-ups; for the most part it's the medial sounds that get distorted (bugs/bags, balloon/baboon, parrot/parent); those sounds are harder to distinguish for emerging readers but being able to do so is one of the final stages of decoding. Reviewer: Mary Hynes-Berry
Kirkus Reviews
Mrs. Millie's silliness with mixed-up words continues as her students plan a few birthday surprises, and this time, it is not just Mrs. Millie who gets her words wrong (Don't Be Silly, Mrs. Millie!, 2005, etc.). The kids begin it by having their parents help them "decorate the classroom with colorful baboons. / Oh! We mean balloons." They lay out treats, knowing that Mrs. Millie will call them "cubcakes" when she sees them, and lay in a good supply of "apple moose" to drink. Then it's time for the party. They surprise Mrs. Millie and go through all the normal birthday rituals--presents, cake, blowing out the candle, making a wish and playing games. Every spread save one features some sort of word mix-up, whether based on rhymes (moose and juice) or just words that sound similar (camel and candle). Cox's text leans heavily on Mathieu's brightly colored pencil-and-watercolor illustrations for humor, and he definitely delivers. The zany mash-ups he creates are sure to elicit giggles in readers, though they may not last through repeated readings once they get over the novelty. His cast of characters includes a mix of skin colors, though it would have been nice if their facial expressions were just as varied. While the schtick may be getting a little old for everyday readers, clever teachers could turn this into a creative writing/art lesson that works for multiple grade levels. (Picture book. 4-7)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—It's Mrs. Millie's birthday, and her students want to surprise her with a party. They imagine all the things she will exclaim over, including their baboon decorations (really, they're balloons) and the adorable cubcakes (cupcakes). But when Mrs. Millie arrives, she turns the tables with a few surprises of her own. Like the previous "Mrs. Millie" titles (Marshall Cavendish), this picture book has whimsical wordplay. Cox has a good formula for keeping it fresh—sometimes the children initiate the funny phrases, and sometimes it's the teacher: "Are all these pheasants for me?" The text is exuberant and energetic, and readers will be swept up in the merriment. Mathieu's illustrations interpret the phrases literally; pheasants pour out of a gift box, with one peering into Mrs. Millie's face. The "apple moose" is priceless, with a bewildered look on the animal's face as children fill their glasses from its barrel stomach. Mrs. Millie would pair well with absentminded Amelia Bedelia for successful word lessons or storytimes.—Susan E. Murray, formerly at Glendale Public Library, AZ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761461265
  • Publisher: Amazon Childrens Publishing
  • Publication date: 5/1/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 718,141
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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