What a Day It Was at School!
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What a Day It Was at School!

5.0 1
by Jack Prelutsky, Doug Cushman

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School has never been so much fun!

When your science homework eats your dog, you spend lunch dodging flying food, and your backpack weighs a thousand pounds, you know you've got a great answer to the question, “What did you do at school today?”


School has never been so much fun!

When your science homework eats your dog, you spend lunch dodging flying food, and your backpack weighs a thousand pounds, you know you've got a great answer to the question, “What did you do at school today?”

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Prelutsky (The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders) packs a school-day's worth of adventure and mayhem into this collection of light verse. The poems unfold as journal entries by an overalls-clad tabby, which also serve to answer Mom's inquiry about his day. (An illustration opposite the table of contents sets up this premise.) The school-age set will recognize the oft-discussed topics: food fights, field trips and the embarrassing passing of gas during class, among others. The author metes out doses of humor over the course of the 17 poems. In "I Wish I'd Studied Harrder," the laughs lie in the intentional misspellings ("I tried to spell Cunneddykit,/ But really I just gessed.../ If I had stoodied harder/ Then I mite have passed this test"), and "A Man Named Mister Hoobybatch" recounts an author visit: "He's giving recitations/ From his stories in the gym./ He's written many children's books-/ We've never heard of him." (The frog poet in the spread also appears above the author bio.) Some observations may escape younger readers (e.g., Prelutsky pokes good-natured fun at "Show-And-Tell," as each student parrots, "I like my plant,... hamsters,... tying knots a lot"). Cushman's (the Aunt Eater series) playful cartoon artwork of the all-animal cast may garner knowing smiles from adults, too: a lion teaching fractions bears a striking resemblance to Einstein, while the illustration for "I Have to a Write a Poem for Class" features a raven squawking, "Nevermore." Ages 5-up. (July) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Sheilah Egan
The illustrator sets the tone of expected humor right from the first image: young cat morosely dragging a backpack, passes adult cat.where is he off to?.some terrible fate?.where has he come from?.some place of a trying nature? All of these provocative thoughts come even before the title page, which reveals that the young cat has just returned from school. His parent presents the requisite milk and cookies and simply says, "Tell me about it." To which young cat replies, "It's all in my journal." Cleverly combining a journal approach with the playful poet's humorous depiction of a day at school, this book exposes students to another positive example of just how meaningful journaling can be. The journal's table of contents shows that the first poem is "My Backpack Weighs a Thousand Pounds," where the snake student in the picture is particularly burdened with his backpack—a truth that anyone who has watched students approaching school recently can attest to. Throughout the entire book, the pictures are perfect reflections and enhancements of the rip-roarious poems. "I Know How to Add" is a poem about the difficulties of learning math, but it also contains the encouraging line "so I'll keep working hard, and maybe I'll figure them out." This poem's illustration shows a teacher at the front of the class who is a lion and looks just like Albert Einstein (his tee shirt says E=MC2). In "I'm Off to the Infirmary," we learn that not doing one's homework can cause the serious and sudden onset of many symptoms of "Martian flu." What a subtle way to introduce the repercussions (or efforts to avoid) of not just doing the homework in the first place. All 17 poems are apt reflections of astudents' experiences in school: physical prowess (or lack there of) in gym, a cafeteria food fight (a "food chain" reaction?), an author's visit (Prelutsky himself?), the joys of reading in the library, the affirmation of a master teacher (she praised his yellow unicorn painting), and the ever fateful "write a poem" homework assignment. The last page has speech bubbles in which young cat says, "I can't wait until tomorrow!" I cannot wait to share this new offering from Prelutsky/Cushman with students. They will laugh out loud at both the deft watercolors and the emotions that the poet/songwriter has captured in such an appealing way. Perhaps they will be inspired to capture their own experiences in rhyme.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Cushman has interpreted Prelutsky's school-aged protagonist as a cat. The feline's journal contains 17 poems about everyday joys and predicaments: the ups and (mostly) downs of completing homework and assignments, overloaded backpacks, the sweet sounds of music class, invigorating author visits, gym partners, and cafeteria food fights. Lively and fun, with perfect meter and an abundance of interesting word choices, these poems beg to be read aloud. And they will be. Cushman has created an appealing school environment with a variety of colorful cartoon animal characters that are happily compatible with Prelutsky's silly and energetic verse. Of particular fun is the math teacher, a lion who bears more than a vague resemblance to a famous mathematician in his E=mC sweatshirt. In addition to being a popular choice for poetry-loving young readers, this school-themed collection is certain to make continual rounds among early elementary teachers for use in the classroom.-Carol L. MacKay, Forestburg School Library, Alberta, Canada Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
One would expect that Prelutsky's poems about school would be rambunctious, warm, silly and laugh-out-loud funny, and this new collection does not disappoint. Brimming with gleeful humor, the poems hit on topics that will be familiar to all students, from the heft of heavy backpacks, the ups and downs of being a teacher's pet and the excitement of field trips, to the frustration of homework, the perils of not studying and the joy of accomplishment and success. Descriptions of various subjects-math, science, spelling, writing, history, art, music, library and gym-are all here too, full of wit, observation and hilarious commentary. Cushman's lively watercolor depictions of various felines, rodents and other small mammals, all with appropriately droll, pensive and jovial expressions, perfectly complement the text and add to the fun. Reluctant readers and poetry lovers alike will find plenty to laugh at and identify with here, and there is never an awkward line or a sour note-although in one poem, there is a rather unfortunate smell. (Picture book. 6-10)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 10.80(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Jack Prelutsky is the best-selling author of more than fifty books of poetry, including The New Kid on the Block, illustrated by James Stevenson, and Stardines Swim High Across the Sky, illustrated by Carin Berger. Jack Prelutsky lives in Washington State.

Doug Cushman is the creator of many favorite mystery stories for young readers featuring such memorable heroes as the intrepid Aunt Eater, the grasshopper gumshoe Inspector Hopper, and the ace reporter Dirk Bones. He has also illustrated many books written by other authors, including Jack Prelutsky's What a Day It Was at School! He lives in Paris, France.

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What a Day It Was at School 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is hilarious. I am in my late twenties, and I still laugh outloud when I read it.