Miss Smith's Incredible Storybook

( 10 )

Overview

When Zack meets his second-grade teacher, Miss Smith, he can tell right away that her class will be different.  But he has no idea just how different it will be!  Miss Smith has a knack for telling tales when she reads from her incredible book,  the stories literally spring to life!  Then one day Miss Smith is late for school.  The principal takes over and things get out of hand.  The classroom is swarming with storybook characters from princesses to pirates to the three little ...

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Overview

When Zack meets his second-grade teacher, Miss Smith, he can tell right away that her class will be different.  But he has no idea just how different it will be!  Miss Smith has a knack for telling tales when she reads from her incredible book,  the stories literally spring to life!  Then one day Miss Smith is late for school.  The principal takes over and things get out of hand.  The classroom is swarming with storybook characters from princesses to pirates to the three little pigs?  All it takes is one spectacular teacher.

When the new teacher, Miss Smith, reads to her class, Zack and his classmates are amazed to find that the storybook characters come to life.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
An unsuspecting classroom plays tug-of-war with literary characters in this jubilant and magical picture book from the creator of Mystery Mansion and The Mouse Before Christmas.

When Miss Smith enters class on the first day of school, she seems "very... different from Zack's other teachers": Her spiky red hair and "The Clash" pin aren't the strangest thing about her; it's also the book she reads. When Miss Smith begins a tale from her "incredible storybook," the characters spring to life -- hopping back into the book once the story is finished -- and that week, the class winds up on board a pirate ship, meeting Red Riding Hood and enjoying other characters' company. But when the principal steps in for Miss Smith one morning, a fantasy tale freaks him out, and the room fills suddenly with a mass of characters who aren't happy with the thought of going back to their stories. Kids and fictional figures get into a sour tug-of-war over the book, but thankfully, Miss Smith shows up to set things right.

Michael Garland has dreamed up another colorfully creative book, this time emphasizing reading and imagination. Kids will love seeing the classroom chaos, while parents can appreciate the underlying message. A zany treat on every page. Matt Warner

Publishers Weekly
With her spiky red-orange hair, leather jacket and "The Clash" pin, "Miss Smith seemed very... different from Zack's other teachers. But the day went along like every school day Zack could remember-until Miss Smith said, `It's story time.' " The teacher opens a leather-bound volume with a filigree cover, and the pages begin to glow. As Miss Smith reads, fantasy characters appear and the classroom transforms into a pirate ship or a fairy-tale forest until the story is complete. One day, Miss Smith is late and the school principal picks up the magic tome. When a dragon emerges, he flees, and the giddy children pass the book around. Before long, familiar characters like the Three Bears, Headless Horseman, Cowardly Lion and Mad Hatter are on the loose, and Miss Smith has to get them under control. Garland (The Mouse Before Christmas) styles petite Miss Smith as a punk-rock throwback, but he doesn't draw any connection between her distinctive looks and the storybook's powers. Miss Smith seems like a wayward character from some other tale, and child character Zack barely registers on the plot. Likewise, visual icons like Alice and Bo Peep may be present, but without their attendant narratives, they lack substance. The author acknowledges classic children's literature without igniting enthusiasm for it. Ages 5-11. (July) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Zack was afraid that school would be boring this year, just like last year. His new teacher Miss Smith was a pleasant surprise. She seemed different. When she began to read her storybook, he was amazed that the characters came to life. The whole class was in the middle of the pirate story, feeling the sea breeze and hearing the waves. From that day on Zack could not wait to get to school. One day Miss Smith was late and the principal came in and started reading from her storybook. The principal was so startled when a knight and dragon come out of the book into the classroom he ran off to get help. Children picked up the book and started reading other stories. Their characters also appear in the room. As the book is passed around, the classroom gets very crowded. Miss Smith finally makes it back to school and knows exactly how to solve this problem. She has to finish each story for the characters to jump back into the book. 2003, Dutton Children's Books, Ages 6 to 10.
—Kristin Harris
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-Zack's exciting new teacher has a magic storybook. When she opens it up and reads aloud, the characters pop out and bring the tales to life right before the students' eyes. But Miss Smith's book isn't for everybody, and when stuffy Principal Rittenrotten has to fill in for her one morning, the dragon, princess, and knight that materialize from the pages send him from the room in a panic. The only way to make them disappear is to finish their respective stories, but Zack's classmates keep beginning new ones instead, until the school is overrun with Goldilocks, the Mad Hatter, and other such characters, seen vividly cavorting across the full-page spreads. Fortunately, Miss Smith shows up just in time and returns them to the safety of the book's pages, leaving the principal confused and her students forever in her debt. The lively, bright illustrations have a glossy, computer-generated quality that young readers will appreciate. Miss Smith wears a black leather jacket and a lapel button advertising "The Clash," and has a punk-rock hairdo. A satisfactory addition to most collections.-Catherine Threadgill, Charleston County Public Library, SC Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Zack's new second-grade teacher confounds his expectations, not so much with her black leather jacket and flaming red brush-cut, as with the big, ornately tooled book she carries-which, when opened, disgorges real pirates, pigs, knights, dragons, and the like as she reads. When Miss Smith is late one day, the Principal, and then the children, get hold of her book, and because they can't manage to finish the stories they start, utter chaos ensues until she sweeps in to restore order. Using saturated hues and crisply drawn figures, Garland crowds the classroom with lively characters, many of them recognizable from classic stories and folktales. A brief but animated invitation to the pleasures of reading, as well as a tribute to unconventional teachers everywhere. (Picture book. 6-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142402825
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/21/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 136,804
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.75 (w) x 9.92 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Garland is the author-illustrator of many popular children's books, including The President and Mom's Apple Pie and Mystery Mansion. He lives in Patterson, New York.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 21, 2013

    My Son and I love this book!  The illustrations are beautiful an

    My Son and I love this book!  The illustrations are beautiful and vivid!  I just learned that there are other Miss. Smith books.  I am going o order some now!

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  • Posted August 1, 2013

    Some years ago I drew a pen and ink graphic for the literacy pro

    Some years ago I drew a pen and ink graphic for the literacy program at our library.  It showed an open door with stacks of books and some of the characters come to life.  I thought I was pretty clever.  I was not, however, as clever as Michael Garland in Miss Smith's Incredible Storybook.
    Miss Smith is the second-grade teacher that you wished you had.  She has rather punk-y red hair, red cat-eye glasses, and best of all, she sports red Converse high-tops.  She reads from an incredible storybook that brings characters to life, not just in an imaginary way as any good reader can, but in a way that fills the classroom.  Imagine the possibilities, and you have Michael Garland's book.
    Michael Garland is an artist of astounding range.  The illustrations for this book are phenomenal and add to the magic that is this story.

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  • Posted January 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Three cheer for Miss Smith series

    My three-year-old daughter loves this series. We checked them out from the library but knew they would be added to our collection. This series thrills a broad age range and my husband and I enjoy them, too.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 11, 2009

    Really Fun Story

    Miss Smith is the fun, new teacher with a special book. Whenever she reads a story, the characters come to life in the classroom and the students feel like they are right in the story. The kids get into the book on their own one day when Miss Smith is late and things get out of hand. The story is fun and interesting and the pictures are great. The story makes reading sound fun and there's also an underlying message about not touching things that don't belong to you and learning to listen.

    We've read it a bunch of times and my daughter never gets sick of it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 10, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Fun book!

    Bought this for my 8yo boy to read before the first day of school. He liked it so much I have read it several times to him since.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2007

    Creative and Fun

    This was a wonderful book about books! I teach in an elementary school and have used this book for kids in grades K to 5. Kids love the bright illustrations and the imagination in the story. They also LOVE identifing and figuring out which original stories the characters came from!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2003

    SHOWS THAT READING IS FUN!

    Michael Garland's high powered imagination and razzle-dazzle illustrations bring the story of a one-of-a-kind teacher to energetic life. There's zip and color on every page plus a lesson for all. Zack is a pretty disheartened young fellow. It's the first day of school, and he's sure the semester will be as boring as ever. Suddenly a small ball of fire whips through the door in the person of Miss Smith, a new teacher. She is unlike any teacher Zack has ever known because when she reads to the class from her story book, the characters actually come to life. There are swashbuckling pirates so real that Zack could actually feel waves pounding against the sides of their pirate ship. And then, when she finished reading 'all the characters and adventure whooshed back into her book.' From then on Zack couldn't wait to go to school. One day when Miss Smith was stuck in traffic and couldn't reach the school, others read from her book and the same amazing things happened. Except for one problem: the storybook characters didn't want to return to the book once the story was over. That could make for a very crowded room! 'Who would ever have guessed that reading could be so much fun?'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2003

    Another awesome book from Garland.

    This is a marvelous book about non-conformity, not judging a teacher by the cover, and how fun reading can be. Excellent choice for any reading opportunity for young children. I plan to read it to my son's preschool class.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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