SIX NEW STUDENTS by Franz Brandenberg


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The six Fieldmouse children start school--a new school--with trepidations: sixth grader Annette doesn't like arithmetic, fifth grader Bertrand doesn't like ""calligraphy,"" fourth grader Colette doesn't like botany, third grader Daniel doesn't like art, second grader Esther doesn't like physical education, and first grader Ferdinand, taking it all in, decides in each case ""I won't either."" But a smart teacher, hearing what he does like, let's him draw a castle (and has him count the towers), draw the letters of the alphabet (which, once completed, he draws again ""in a different way""), draw a flower (""the stem, the leaves, the head, the petals""). . . and ""join the ball game"" without, come phys ed, putting on his sneakers. How she's gotten round him will be evident to the slowest reader; why the others, unprotestingly doing their assigned lessons, should also capitulate by day's end is less apparent. And it does confuse the issue, transforming a laugh at copycat resistance to the unknown into a demonstration of enlightened pedagogy, notwithstanding the children's parallel reconciliation to sunflower lunches. What's fun is seeing the six grades arranged in rows in one classroom and, as always, Aliki's deft little drawings--especially of Ferdinand's bristling non-compliance when the others swiftly heave to.

Pub Date: Sept. 18th, 1978
Publisher: Greenwillow (Read Alone)