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GRACIE GRAVES AND THE KIDS FROM ROOM 402 by Betty Paraskevas

GRACIE GRAVES AND THE KIDS FROM ROOM 402

By Betty Paraskevas (Author) , Michael Paraskevas (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-15-200321-5
Publisher: Harcourt

 A tour of a typical classroom, person-by-person, told in rhyming verse. The lines rarely scan properly, but many of the character descriptions end with a punch that is either humorous, touching, or, in one case, just shy of offensive: ``When the prinicipal rose to addres the class,/Anna Shannon's bubble gum stuck to his . . . trousers.'' These collaborators include two plugs for their Monster Beach (1995) and four for Junior Kroll (1993). Gracie Graves's pupils are stereotypes: the quiet math whiz, the chubby girl victimized by bullies, the tomboy, the tattletale, etc. They are also throwbacks to another eradespite the gratuitous inclusion of a couple of minority studentsas are other aspects of the illustrations: Many of the girls wear Mary Janes, Gracie has a bottle of india ink on her desk (and four polished apples), a Southern boy wears a double-breasted suit. The wide-eyed jollity of the Paraskevas team compensates mightily, and what readers will take away from this visit to Room 402 is the impression of a classroom teeming with life. (Picture book. 4-8)