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Children's LiteratureOne look at the back cover of this picture book and I knew I would like it. It sports a picture of the permission slip for Miss Malarky's field trip with great phrases like "All children will be returned to their parents, in one piece" and "motion sickness bags available." As someone who used to take kids on field trips, I laughed aloud at some of the situations Miss Malarky and her students find themselves in at the city science center. Additional dialogue balloons add to the comic atmosphere of the field trip. Pages that highlight the "bathroom dance," Jake getting his arm stuck in a giant ear while learning about earwax, and adventures in the electricity room also add to both the humor of the book and the jeopardy poor Miss Malarky finds herself in as she tries to educate her students. The illustrations are, in a nutshell, a "hoot," matching perfectly the humor as well as the various ironies of a teacher dealing with enthusiastic but uncooperative students and chaperones who do not take their temporary job too seriously. This is a fun book to read to kids or to have read to parents by their child; my seven-year-old read it through twice between our joined laughter. A definite hit. 2004, Walker & Company, Ages 5 to 9.
—Jean Boreen, Ph.D.