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MAGICAL MS PLUM by Bonny Becker


by Bonny Becker and illustrated by Amy Portnoy

Age Range: 7 - 11

Pub Date: Sept. 8th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-375-85637-2
Publisher: Knopf

Magic and common sense mix to create a wonderful year for Ms Plum, who could be Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s granddaughter, and her third graders. Clever and understated Ms Plum sends one student per chapter into her magical supply closet, which smells of “chalk and chocolate and something lovely no one could ever quite name,” and that student comes out with a miniature version of an animal that behaves in a way that adds to the students’ understanding. For instance, Jovi, a refugee from an unnamed African country, retrieves a fierce falcon the children come to understand needs freedom. With lightness and humor, complemented by Portnoy’s occasional black-and-white illustrations, Becker highlights the personalities of Everyclass: the whiner, the optimist, the showoff, the thief, the shy one. Readers will surely see themselves in the chapters and eagerly read on to see what will happen as the year unfolds. Ms Plum has some real teaching magic up her sleeve, and teachers who read aloud to their classes will want to begin or end their years with this one. (Fantasy. 7-11)