The counting concepts and comedy make this a perfect 100th day read-aloud.


The 100th day of school gets a lighthearted treatment in this debut rhyming picture book.

It’s the 100th day of school, but the class has only counted up to 93. The teacher is worried she’ll be fired, so the students put their heads together to figure out what days they missed. After recalling a number of chaotic days—the class pet’s escape, the field trip to the circus, the first snowfall, and more—the classmates arrive at a new total, but now they’ve hit 101. After the poor teacher faints, the students use all their counting strategies to add up the right number of days. The teacher shows her appreciation, and the class assures her: “You can count on us!” There is no shortage of books celebrating the 100th day of school, but Reistad, a librarian, captures perfectly how busy school days can escape a careful count—and how teamwork helps the students celebrate both the fun they’ve had and the class they love. The rhyming text flows smoothly and seamlessly integrates math vocabulary (“digit,” “sum,” “abacus”). Veteran illustrator Barber skillfully creates amusing illustrations, as seen in his Nobody Likes a Booger (2017), and here, that humor is particularly present in the teacher’s expressions and body language. The students are a diverse group ethnically, but they are identical in their positive attitudes and willingness to help their beleaguered instructor.

The counting concepts and comedy make this a perfect 100th day read-aloud.

Pub Date: April 16, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-64343-987-7

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Beaver's Pond Press

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2020

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Formulaic but not stale…even if it does mine previous topical material rather than expand it.


From the How Do Dinosaurs…? series

A guide to better behavior—at home, on the playground, in class, and in the library.

Serving as a sort of overview for the series’ 12 previous exercises in behavior modeling, this latest outing opens with a set of badly behaving dinos, identified in an endpaper key and also inconspicuously in situ. Per series formula, these are paired to leading questions like “Does she spit out her broccoli onto the floor? / Does he shout ‘I hate meat loaf!’ while slamming the door?” (Choruses of “NO!” from young audiences are welcome.) Midway through, the tone changes (“No, dinosaurs don’t”), and good examples follow to the tune of positive declarative sentences: “They wipe up the tables and vacuum the floors. / They share all the books and they never slam doors,” etc. Teague’s customary, humongous prehistoric crew, all depicted in exact detail and with wildly flashy coloration, fill both their spreads and their human-scale scenes as their human parents—no same-sex couples but some are racially mixed, and in one the man’s the cook—join a similarly diverse set of sibs and other children in either disapprobation or approving smiles. All in all, it’s a well-tested mix of oblique and prescriptive approaches to proper behavior as well as a lighthearted way to play up the use of “please,” “thank you,” and even “I’ll help when you’re hurt.”

Formulaic but not stale…even if it does mine previous topical material rather than expand it. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-36334-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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Go, Nathan! Stick it to the, Fairy.


A lad’s determination to keep his baby teeth sets him against not only the tooth fairy, but the whole Fay bureaucracy behind her.

Far more interested in the teeth than the money, Nathan ingeniously hides each fallen chopper—to no avail, as his assigned tooth fairy is just as determined to collect them, and she comes armed with a high-tech Super Tooth Sensomatic to do the job. Clad in formal office togs and topped with a ’do that wouldn’t dare show even a hair out of place in Parker’s comically detailed digital paintings, the tiny tooth fairy positively oozes bureaucratic severity. But Nathan outlasts her and even a squad of thuggish enforcers euphemistically dubbed “Tooth Experts” from the 15th League of Enchanted Commerce to earn both a rare certificate of exemption and a dental rebate. “ ‘Thanks!’ said Nathan. ‘I’ll keep them forever.’ / And he did.” The increasingly stern official missives from the tooth fairy are depicted in typescript on letterhead in the illustrations. While children are unlikely to have encountered communications of this ilk on their own behalfs, they will likely have seen their grown-ups tearing their hair out over similar ones—and their grown-ups will enjoy them thoroughly.

Go, Nathan! Stick it to the, Fairy. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: July 15, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4169-7915-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2014

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