My Teacher Is a Monster! (No, I Am Not.)

( 1 )

Overview

A young boy named Bobby has the worst teacher. She's loud, she yells, and if you throw paper airplanes, she won't allow you to enjoy recess. She is a monster! Luckily, Bobby can go to his favorite spot in the park on weekends to play. Until one day... he finds his teacher there! Over the course of one day, Bobby learns that monsters are not always what they seem.

Each page is filled with "monstrous" details that will have kids reading the story again and again. Peter Brown takes...

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Overview

A young boy named Bobby has the worst teacher. She's loud, she yells, and if you throw paper airplanes, she won't allow you to enjoy recess. She is a monster! Luckily, Bobby can go to his favorite spot in the park on weekends to play. Until one day... he finds his teacher there! Over the course of one day, Bobby learns that monsters are not always what they seem.

Each page is filled with "monstrous" details that will have kids reading the story again and again. Peter Brown takes a universal and timeless theme, and adds his own humorous spin to create another winner of a picture book.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 04/14/2014
Context is key in this revelatory tale from Brown (Mr. Tiger Goes Wild), dedicated “to misunderstood teachers and their misunderstood students.” Bobby and his teacher are at odds, and it’s easy to see why: “Ms. Kirby stomped. Ms. Kirby roared.” Ms. Kirby—who disapproves of Bobby’s paper airplanes in class—looks like a furious komodo dragon, with her brown-speckled green skin, toothy underbite, and pointy claws. One Saturday at the park, the two accidentally meet. When a gusty wind nearly tosses Ms. Kirby’s hat in a lake, Bobby saves the day, and Ms. Kirby rejoices. As they awkwardly chat, Ms. Kirby’s fearsome features gradually transition from reptilian to human. Bobby relaxes too, and the thing that tore them asunder—the paper airplane—proves perfectly appropriate for fun at the park. Brown, imagining Ms. Kirby from a child’s perspective, handles her transformation smoothly, prompting readers to revisit earlier pages. Comic traces of monstrosity linger in Ms. Kirby (she still goes green at classroom clowning) yet Brown makes it clear that teachers are people too—even the “mean” ones. Ages 4–8. Agent: Paul Rodeen, Rodeen Literary Management. (July)
From the Publisher
*"This playful, eye-catching story goes a long way to humanize both teachers and students."—Booklist

*"Brown, imagining Ms. Kirby from a child's perspective, handles her transformation smoothly, prompting readers to revisit earlier pages. Comic traces of monstrosity linger in Ms Kirby (she still goes green at classroom clowning) yet Brown makes it clear that teachers are people too-even the "mean" ones."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

School Library Journal
07/01/2014
K-Gr 2—With his signature retro-inspired, mixed-media illustrations, Brown's latest picture book explores a new facet of themes he's touched upon before: identity, perception, and acceptance. Bobby is a likable, if ever-so-slightly naughty, everykid. His big problem is Ms. Kirby, a giant reptilian creature with a mean overbite and a tendency to stomp and roar. She also happens to be Bobby's teacher. A carefree Saturday in the park is nearly ruined when Bobby runs into Ms. Kirby. Brown astutely captures that awkward moment when students encounter a teacher outside the context of the classroom. In a spread featuring Bobby on one end of a park bench and the hulking Ms. Kirby on the other, the gutter separates the two characters, emphasizing their physical and emotional distance. Over the course of the day, Bobby and his teacher learn that they share some interests. As the story progresses, Ms. Kirby incrementally loses her green hue, her massive snout, and her oversize limbs, slowly transforming into a regular human teacher. Besides the sweet message, the strength in this school story is the humor of Bobby's deadpan stare. Looking directly out from the pages with his wide eyes, Alfalfa-esque hairdo, and jug-handle ears, Bobby will win the hearts of readers with his rascally charm, if not the no-nonsense Ms. Kirby.—Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-05-14
A behaviorally challenged little boy for whom paper airplanes are a particular weakness learns to see his teacher as a person when he meets her outside the classroom.Bobby's teacher stomps, roars and takes away recess (not without reason). The little boy's one refuge is the park—but so is Ms. Kirby's. In a marvelously illustrated, wordless spread, Brown shows how both Ms. Kirby and Bobby feel when their private moments are interrupted by the other. But in a show of maturity, Bobby understands that running away (no matter how much he may want to) will only make things worse. Some painful small talk and a hat rescued from the wind slowly lead the two to deeper interaction. And when Bobby takes her to his favorite high overlook, Ms. Kirby, who has slowly been losing her green skin, spiky teeth, hippolike nostrils and hulking bulk, silently hands him a piece of paper. The flight is epic. Afterward, Ms. Kirby still roars and stomps and frowns upon paper airplanes in class, though she retains her human features (if not her skin color, at least not all the time). The digitally composited and colored India ink, watercolor, gouache and pencil illustrations use a palette of green, shades of tan and brown, aqua and salmon that suits the text's tongue-in-cheek humor and monster theme, the colors brightening as Ms. Kirby loses her monster-ness.Here's hoping readers who are similarly challenged in the behavior department will get both messages: Teachers are people, and they give back what they get. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316070294
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 7/1/2014
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 42,898
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 310L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Brown is the author and illustrator of many bestselling children's books, including Children Make Terrible Pets and The Curious Garden. He is the recipient of a Caldecott Honor for Creepy Carrots!, two E.B. White Read Aloud Awards, a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book award, and a Children's Choice Award for Illustrator of the Year. Peter's website is www.peterbrownstudio.com.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 1, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Ms. Kirby is a monster or at least Bobby thinks she is. Bobby t

    Ms. Kirby is a monster or at least Bobby thinks she is. Bobby thinks his teacher is a monster because when he flies his paper airplanes in class, she yells at him and then takes away his recess from him for throwing the airplane. She also stomped as she walks in her classroom and she roars as she tries to get the class to settle down during the day. I guess it also doesn’t help that she looks like a monster with a huge green body and sharp teeth. While at the park, in his favorite spot, guess who he sees? Yes, Ms. Kirby and she’s reading a book with the ducks nearby. Robert doesn’t know what to say at first but by the time they both go home that day, they both have smiles on their faces. The transformation that afternoon from the enormous green teacher with the sharp teeth to what meets him at the door on Monday morning is substantial but when Bobby throws another airplane, you just never know how the book will end.
    Geared for lower elementary children, I think they will like the lesson the book has to offer. I liked the story and it was cute the progression the teacher made over the pages. I wasn’t too keen on the facial expressions on the teacher when Bobby and her first saw each other, when Bobby was nervous about seeing her there. I thought she could have looked more inviting instead of terrifying. I thought if she looked that scary, why did he even come close? The illustrations were bright and the font was creative and the uses of the text bubbles were excellent.

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