DEAR SUBSTITUTE by Audrey Vernick

DEAR SUBSTITUTE

Age Range: 5 - 7
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A rough day with a sub slowly improves as the child narrator gets to know her and is introduced to new things.

Each double-page spread is a letter addressed to some aspect of the day: “Dear Substitute, / Wow. This is a surprise. / What are you doing here? / Where’s Mrs. Giordano, / and why didn’t she warn us?” Opposite, Raschka’s watercolor-and-gouache portrait is appropriately grim and forbidding. Other addressees include “attendance” (the sub can’t pronounce some of the names), the homework the narrator labored over (a waste), and the class turtle (it’s “Tank Tuesday,” but it won’t get cleaned today). But after admonishing the narrator for lunch-trading (an allergy risk), the sub gives the class extra storytime, only with “strange little poems” instead of their chapter book. It turns out the narrator loves them, even making one (with the sub’s help) about the turtle, and just like that, the day is turned around. The narrator, depicted as a pale-skinned child with brown pigtails, has a new outlook on subs (and maybe new experiences): “Sometimes you’ve got to / mix things up a little.” Raschka’s characteristically splashy, modern-ish illustrations, while expressive and with colors that match the changing moods, are casually childlike and sometimes hard to decode.

Substitute teachers are a rite of passage for students; this narrator’s change of heart provides a good example of handling it with aplomb. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: June 19th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-4847-5022-3
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2018




MORE BY AUDREY VERNICK

ChildrenTAKE YOUR OCTOPUS TO SCHOOL DAY by Audrey Vernick
by Audrey Vernick
ChildrenNAOMIS TOO by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
ChildrenTHE FUNNIEST MAN IN BASEBALL by Audrey Vernick
by Audrey Vernick
ChildrenTWO NAOMIS by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich

MORE BY ELIZABETH GARTON SCANLON

ChildrenA SOCK IS A POCKET FOR YOUR TOES by Elizabeth Garton Scanlon
by Elizabeth Garton Scanlon

MORE BY CHRIS RASCHKA

ChildrenPAUL WRITES (A LETTER) by Chris Raschka
by Chris Raschka
ChildrenNEW SHOES by Chris Raschka
by Chris Raschka
ChildrenDAISY GETS LOST by Chris Raschka
by Chris Raschka
ChildrenEVERYONE CAN LEARN TO RIDE A BICYCLE by Chris Raschka
by Chris Raschka

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenMABEL BEECHER, FUTURE TEACHER by Cari Best
by Cari Best
ChildrenSCHOOL LUNCH by True Kelley
by True Kelley
ChildrenWITH DAD, IT'S LIKE THAT by Nadine  Brun-Cosme
by Nadine Brun-Cosme