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Chris Gall's vibrant artwork leaps off the page with a dynamic comic book aesthetic that will grab both parents and monster-loving kids!
In this cautionary tale that combines humor and a touch of magic, good behavior is the lesson of the day when a particularly naughty class of students has a substitute teacher.
The seven-tentacled, green substitute teacher, Mr. Creacher speaks in rhyme and glares from his single eye (in front that is; he's got three in back). He regales the class with tales of children who failed to behave in school and the fates that befell them. There's Keith, the glue-eater who stuck to all he touched, Zach, the daydreamer who accidentally ate the class pet, and Kylie, the artist, whose drawing came to life and ravaged the classroom. Then, Beauty and the Beast–like, Mr. Creacher reveals that he himself was a naughty child, put under a spell and sentenced to teach children about their wicked ways. It works—the children promise to reform, and with his debt now repaid, Mr. Creacher can return to his own childhood a changed boy. Gall's illustrations use speech bubbles that drip with green slime and graphic-novel elements to great effect, creating artwork that pops off the pages and appears almost three-dimensional. Touches of humor take the edge off some of the more frightening scenes.
Great for both Halloween and the start of a new school year, this is certain to provide more than a few laughs to kids who have seen through Viola Swamp's disguise.(Picture book. 6-10)
Posted July 9, 2011
Being retired now for a number of years, and having learned that it is (despite wishful thinking on the part of many) quite possible to play too much golf, I began a part time career as a substitute teacher.
I was at one time, also difficult for some to believe, a school boy myself. I felt that these facts concerning my life made me very well qualified to read and review this work. Also, when you combine these past experiences with the fact that I read a lot of books to a lot of children, and have for years, I pretty well have a good idea of what a child likes in the way of literature; especially at the age this book is targeted for. I feel you can trust me on this one folks...the kids are going to love it.
I must say that I was delighted with this latest offering from Chris Gall. Through his prose, rhyme and art he has nailed the relationship between child and teacher perfectly, and done it in a very entertaining way.
It would seem that Ms. Jenkins, the regular teacher, had to take a day away from her class and so a substitute teacher was brought in for her. The kids (who are a well rounded group to typical young scamps) are excited and delighted with the opportunity to practice their disruptive skills on yet another victim. As they are rehearsing for their day to come, the class room door slowly creaks open....the substitute teacher enters...very green with green warts, seven tentacle shaped legs, one eye in front, three in the back of his head and green pudgy hands. (The teachers light brown suit and red bow-tie went quite well with the creatures skin color though; I will say that). This was most certainly NOT your typical substitute teacher, but indeed, a "Substitute Creacher!"
After introducing himself amongst much commotion, our creature teacher makes an announcement:
ATTENTION ALL SCAMPS, ALL RASCALS, AND FOOLS!
For forty-nine years
I've visited schools.
I've collected some tales
whose lessons are grave
about boys and girls
who didn't behave.
They'll give you the goose bumps.
They'll shiver your skin.
Now pay strict attention:
It's time we begin!"
The creature then begins a series of tales of what happened to kids that simply would not behave while in school and what the consequences were. These of course are rather silly tales with silly outcomes but as the creature tells story after story the children begin to sober. By the final story the sub has the complete attention of the children and, as a matter of fact, has their complete sympathy and a room full of very well behaved children.
But that is not all. The story continues and follows the creature out to door when school is dismissed, and we find that......
Well, no spoilers here folks, but you really need to read this work as the ending is quite unique and rather unexpected.
The author has used two rather nicely done techniques in the telling of this tale. The story is told in simple language in the form of lines and captions on the bottom or top of the page. Yet at the same time, everything the creature tells the children is written in a very nicely done rhyme and comes in the form of green blobs; slime green balloons as you would find in comic books. The contrast here is very eye catching and adds greatly to the telling of this story...it is quite catchy.
The art is bold and goes from bright to dark and is quite detailed; these pictures absolutely pop from the page, and go perfectly with the text.
Some of the predi
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Posted September 8, 2011
I read this book to my grandson's age 5 and 7 1/2. I thought it might be a little scary, but not for them.
I would read this during the Halloween Season. It has some learning clues for the kids.
It is enjoyable and fun. (As a teacher,I wanted the "Miss Nelson is Missing" author to write more.) I guess this is the extension of Miss Nelson.
Kgn. through 4th grade would enjoy this and learn something about right from wrong. Fun and different.
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Posted October 27, 2011