Substitute Creacher

( 3 )

Overview

The troublemaking students of Ms. Jenkins' class arrive at school one day to discover a substitute creacher has come to put a stop to their monkey business! He regales them with mind-boggling stories about his former students who didn't follow the rules: Keith the glue-eater, Zach the daydreamer, and Hank the prankster, to name a few. But even this multi-tentacled, yellow-spotted, one-eyed monster's cautionary tales about the consequences of mischief-making can't seem to change the students' wicked ways until he ...
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Overview

The troublemaking students of Ms. Jenkins' class arrive at school one day to discover a substitute creacher has come to put a stop to their monkey business! He regales them with mind-boggling stories about his former students who didn't follow the rules: Keith the glue-eater, Zach the daydreamer, and Hank the prankster, to name a few. But even this multi-tentacled, yellow-spotted, one-eyed monster's cautionary tales about the consequences of mischief-making can't seem to change the students' wicked ways until he reveals the spookiest and most surprising story of all: his own.

Chris Gall's vibrant artwork leaps off the page with a dynamic comic book aesthetic that will grab both parents and monster-loving kids!

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  • Substitute Creacher
    Substitute Creacher  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Six unruly children are in for a shock when a green-speckled, one-eyed, tentacled monster (wearing a neat brown suit) shows up as their substitute teacher. Mr. Creacher also has three eyes on the back of his head, the better to intercept the inevitable tack-on-the-chair prank. He speaks in rhymes—encased in slimy-looking voice bubbles—and informs his disorderly students that, over 49 years, "I've collected some tales/ whose lessons are grave/ about boys and girls/ who didn't behave." He calmly launches into brief cautionary tales of children whose deeds bring big trouble. A glue-eater sticks to everything he touches, a doodler's dragon comes alive, and—worst of all—a boy (named Chris) steals from classmates and is transformed into a monster: " 'Til he repaid his debt,/ a creacher he'd be./ And by now you should know:/ That monster is me." Gall (Dinotrux) illustrates in explosive, cinematic panels; retro Ben-Day dot patterns allude to classic funnies. If the dire warnings fail to inspire repentance, Mr. Creacher's dilemma—and a conclusion that breaks the spell—may warm the cold hearts of defiant substitute baiters. Ages 3–6. (July)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Misbehaving kids meet their substitute—a one-eyed, green-tentacled monster that spouts rhyming cautionary tales of mischievous miscreants. There's Keith, who ate so much glue that random objects started sticking to him; Sara, who stuffed her desk so full of junk that it eventually exploded; Chris, a bully who stole candy from other kids and as punishment was turned into…the monster they see before them. As he gives away the last of the candy he stole long ago, the Substitute Creacher sheds his green skin, turning back into a boy and returning to his long-lost home in the past. Gall's illustrations are colorful and catchy with their comic-book style, but the tone of the text veers wildly from gleeful cautionary tale to maudlin sob story, and the result doesn't quite gel.—Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD
USA Today
"Mr. Creacher's cautionary tales, told in rhyme, are as appealing as Chris Gall's bold, cartoonlike drawings. It's an educational horror story with a happy ending."
starred review Booklist

* "This is a delicious little shocker of a picture book that ought to whip... crowd[s] of youngsters into a shrieking, laughing frenzy."
From the Publisher

* "Combines humor and a touch of magic.... certain to provide more than a few laughs."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "This is a delicious little shocker of a picture book that ought to whip... crowd[s] of youngsters into a shrieking, laughing frenzy."—Booklist, starred review

"Explosive, cinematic panels; retro Ben-Day dot patterns allude to classic funnies."—Publishers Weekly

"Colorful and catchy... [a] gleeful cautionary tale." School Library Journal

"Mr. Creacher's cautionary tales, told in rhyme, are as appealing as Chris Gall's bold, cartoonlike drawings. It's an educational horror story with a happy ending."—USA Today

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
One October day, Ms. Jackson's class is delighted to learn that they will have a substitute teacher. Mr. Creacher turns out to be not only an unusual character, but also a cautioning, strict disciplinarian who speaks in jaunty rhymed couplets within puddles of green bile. From his files he draws examples of students whose poor behavior brought them to terrible ends. His tales bring interjections from the horrified class. He ends by admitting that his naughtiness as a boy caused him to be cursed. The class, saddened by his story, promises never to torture their teacher again. Mr. Creacher leaves, giving away the last of his candy, to find himself in a surprise happy ending. He is portrayed on the jacket at his desk as a neatly dressed man but with a single eye in his rounded, speckled head and octopus-like tentacles emerging from his pants legs. Gall claims to use fantastic media: "bat wings, toad juice, and the bundled whiskers of a black cat" for his visual telling in comic naturalistic style. The front end pages depict Creacher's shadow leaving a suburban house; on the back end papers the shadow of a young boy rides off on his bicycle to clinch the ending. Some pages are designed like graphic novels with many small framed illustrations of the action. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Misbehaving kids meet their substitute—a one-eyed, green-tentacled monster that spouts rhyming cautionary tales of mischievous miscreants. There's Keith, who ate so much glue that random objects started sticking to him; Sara, who stuffed her desk so full of junk that it eventually exploded; Chris, a bully who stole candy from other kids and as punishment was turned into…the monster they see before them. As he gives away the last of the candy he stole long ago, the Substitute Creacher sheds his green skin, turning back into a boy and returning to his long-lost home in the past. Gall's illustrations are colorful and catchy with their comic-book style, but the tone of the text veers wildly from gleeful cautionary tale to maudlin sob story, and the result doesn't quite gel.—Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD
Kirkus Reviews

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)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316089159
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 7/20/2011
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 158,061
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 12.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Chris Gall
Chris Gall is the award-winning author and illustrator of Revenge of the Dinotrux, Substitute Creacher, Dear Fish, There's Nothing to Do on Mars, and Dinotrux, a Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book of 2009. His books have received numerous starred reviews and awards including a Borders Original Voices Book for 2006 for Dear Fish and a Kirkus Best Children's Book for 2008 for There's Nothing to Do on Mars. Chris has won a multitude of awards from organizations like the Society of Illustrators and Communication Arts Magazine, and is also the illustrator of America the Beautiful, a Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book of 2004. He lives in Tucson, Arizona.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 9, 2011

    New Children's book with a very neat twist.

    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

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 8, 2011

    Enjoyable book for ages 5-10.

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2011

    Awesome Book!!

    It's sweet, it gives kids a message and the drawings are incredible. Buy it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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