Publishers WeeklyThe collaborators behind Some Smug Slug join forces to deliver this light look at how several animals' anxieties get stirred up when a new teacher begins on the second day of kindergarten. Mr. Fox has to stay home to care for his newborn kits, so competent Ms. Bitsy Bat takes over. She greets and quickly discerns the concerns of her wide-eyed, backpack-wearing pupils. Included in the cast of classroom characters is food-loving Groundhog, worried about his snacks ("Mr. Fox gave us chocolate-chip cookies... I bet this new teacher will give us yucky carrot sticks") and brainy Possum ("I bet this new teacher won't even know how smart I am"). The wise and patient Ms. Bat smoothes out the hurdles, recognizing the needs of each of her charges. While the humor of the typecast pupils' reactions may be lost on youngest readers, there is plenty to enjoy in the cheery, sympathetically rendered illustrations, from the animals' animated expressions to the slapstick frenzy when a mischievous bee bursts onto the scene. A somewhat staged ending wraps up the reassuring story. Parents and students alike can only hope for a teacher as perceptive and flexible as Ms. Bitsy Bat. Ages 4-7. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library JournalPreS-K-Possum, Mole, Mouse, Snake, and Rabbit are apprehensive on the second day of school when they discover that they will have a substitute teacher. The children have an enjoyable day even though the sub is not the one they expected. Done in a palette of bright primary colors, Cole's detailed illustrations fill the pages. Questioning looks on Groundhog's and Rabbit's faces show the confusion they feel as they wonder if Ms. Bitsy Bat can be as resourceful as Mr. Fox in solving problems such as losing their eyeglasses or sitting in a seat that is too small. However, readers may wonder how attached these new kindergartners could have been to Mr. Fox whom they only met the previous day. Kindergartners will be pleased with the successful conclusion. A supplemental resource if more first-day-of-school books are needed.-Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus ReviewsProlific collaborators Cole and Edwards return for this story of new-teacher anxiety. Rabbit, Snake, Possum, Groundhog, Mole and Mouse arrive at their school for the second day only to find Mr. Fox is going to stay home and care for his new babies. Each woodland child has a specific fear: Groundhog worries they'll get carrots rather than chocolate-chip cookies and Mouse worries she won't be kept busy. Despite her strangeness, Ms. Bitsy Bat does everything perfectly. Cole's pencil-and-watercolor illustrations are as smilingly bright as ever. However, Edward's story is problematic on a couple of fronts. The animals are all realistically sized, and a fox would never fit into their school. Mouse announces that they'll have a new classroom, but they appear to go to a one-room schoolhouse. Though the message is worthy, Ms. Bitsy Bat's perfection is unrealistic, as is the children's attachment to their teacher (Mr. Fox) after one day of kindergarten. Most collections would best be served by sticking with Miss Bindergarten for now. (Picture book. 4-6)
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 9.25(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.50(d)
- Age Range:
- 4 - 7 Years
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