A magical creature punishes rampaging students in this third installment of a picture book series.
Classrooms are a fantastic place to learn—unless they’re in Brat School. There, Fong (BetterNot! And the Tale of Brat Sports, 2016, etc.) depicts a teacher hiding behind his desk and biting his nails, the word HELP! written across the chalkboard, while his students run amok. When the principal warns the pupils they better change their ways or BetterNot will arrive, they tie a rocket to his feet and send him soaring. Unsurprisingly, the threatened BetterNot, resembling a genie crossed with a wraith, appears in a purple fog to set the kids on the right track. For each appropriately named child, there’s a matching punishment. Cass Clown is stuck in clown makeup in a painting like Munch’s The Scream while Ira is transported to Mars for interrupting before the teacher explains the red planet has no air. Some young readers will find BetterNot’s punishments appropriate while others will likely wonder if poor Ira died before learning his lesson or if Andy Disbeliever survived the aquarium tank he’d doubted was wet. Though Del Vecchio’s (BetterNot! And the Tale of Brat Sports, 2016, etc.) text rhymes, the meter is all over the place. Fong’s amusing images showcase BetterNot’s whimsical acts and dark sense of justice while showing a diverse cast of misbehavers and teachers.
A humorous story with over-the-top morals, uneven rhyme schemes, and comic illustrations.