Mr. Ouchy's First Day

Mr. Ouchy's First Day

by B.G. Hennessy, Paul Meisel
     
 

Mr. Ouchy is nervous about his first day of school . . . even though he’s the teacher! Will his students like him? Will he be able to find the bathroom? What if he can’t remember his students’ names? Fortunately, his classroom keeps him busy; his students have plenty of their own questions, and the first day of school turns into a great day

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Overview

Mr. Ouchy is nervous about his first day of school . . . even though he’s the teacher! Will his students like him? Will he be able to find the bathroom? What if he can’t remember his students’ names? Fortunately, his classroom keeps him busy; his students have plenty of their own questions, and the first day of school turns into a great day discussing things like Mr. Ouchy’s funny name, how long a minute really lasts, and what everyone wants to learn in the upcoming year—things like whistling, playing drums and drawing dinosaurs.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hennessy's (The Boy Who Cried Wolf) charming story reassures children that they are not the only ones worried about starting school. Mr. Ouchy, a new teacher, expresses concerns that will seem familiar to young readers ("Will I remember everyone's name? Will I be able to find the bathroom?"). Broken into short chapter-like segments, the quick-moving narrative begins with the fellow in the barbershop, getting a haircut on the eve of the first day. Later, he has trouble falling asleep and counts sheep that "start to look like children." Here, Meisel's (Zara's Hats) ink-and-watercolor gouache artwork shows several sheep, many with heads of smiling children, floating above Mr. Ouchy's snoozing head. Highlights from the first day reveal the teacher's aptitude and zest for his job. Not one to get flustered by kids' questions, (e.g., "Your name rhymes with grouchy! Grouchy-Ouchy! Are you a grouchy teacher?"), the unflappable hero answers them truthfully and directly. Readers will be relieved to know that their teachers may be as anxious as they are-and that mothers never stop asking about their children's day at school. Ages 5-up. (July) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
In a variation on the first day of school jitters, this book presents the first day from a teacher's point of view. To make it even more interesting, the teacher is male and this is truly his first day of teaching. He gets a haircut, makes sure that his wardrobe is up to snuff and gets to bed early, but he cannot seem to fall asleep because he is worried. The series of poems takes readers through this very first day, which includes an interesting discussion about the length of a minute. Some kids claim it is short and others that it is long and they provide good examples. It is Mr. O's job to explain that a minute is a constant made up of sixty seconds and that when some parents say "in a minute" it is just an expression and does not mean that they will really be taking whatever action has been claimed in sixty seconds. It is a clever idea because that phrase probably gets used a bit too often in some households. Our teacher closes the first day by asking the class what they would like to learn during the year, and it certainly is a wild list. The ending is amusing because we see Mr. O having a phone conversation with his Mom, who asks him how the day went and he in turn asking her for a recipe for doughnuts.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 1-Mr. Ouchy is looking forward to his first day as a teacher, and while he is excited, he is also worried. Will he remember his students' names, will he be able to find his classroom, or even the bathroom? When the big day arrives, he is so busy answering his class's myriad questions that his nervousness evaporates and he and the students have a great day. This story is for a slightly younger audience than Julie Danneberg's First Day Jitters (Charlesbridge, 2000); it has a simpler vocabulary and sentence structure. Meisel's watercolor, gouache, and pen-and-ink illustrations have a cozy feel and not only amplify humorous situations, but also sometimes create them when the text does not. For example, the picture accompanying a little girl's request to learn how to train her cat shows an orange tabby perched coyly on the edge of a toilet seat while reading the newspaper. This picture book is a good choice to share when trying to keep the stress that can accompany that first day for both kids and teachers to minimum levels.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Tomorrow is Mr. Ouchy's first day of teaching, and he is eager, but a little nervous. He has a new haircut, and his new clothes are laid out and ready, but it's hard to get to sleep. He starts counting sheep, and the next thing he knows, the day has begun. He meets his class, tells them his name, teaches them about the clock and asks what they'd like to learn over the next year. Soon enough, Mr. Ouchy is back in bed, talking to his mother on the phone about his wonderful class, and then falling off to sleep. While the descriptions of the day are straightforward and quietly humorous, the story jumps around a bit; at times, the parallels between teacher and student seem a little strained. Still, the watercolors are bright and energetic, Mr. Ouchy is a likable character, and new students may find solace in the fact that teachers can be nervous, too. (Picture book. 4-6)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399242489
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
07/20/2006
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.36(w) x 10.28(h) x 0.35(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

B.G. Hennessy grew up in Wantagh on Long Island, NY. At the University of Wisconsin in Madison, she majored in fine art and learned how to design, print and bind handmade books. She also took courses in Children’s Literature. The combination of form and content in the picture book format fascinated her and after graduation she headed for NYC where she worked for 17 years in children’s book publishing as a designer and art director. She is the author of Road Builders and The First Night, as well as many books starring Corduroy, the loveable toy bear created by Don Freeman. She now lives with her family in Arizona.

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