Kirkus Reviews QR Code
GRACIE GRAVES AND THE KIDS FROM ROOM 402 by Betty Paraskevas

GRACIE GRAVES AND THE KIDS FROM ROOM 402

by Betty Paraskevas, illustrated by Michael Paraskevas

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)