A favorite teacher prepares to leave her school in June, but her students don’t want to face that change.
Mrs. McBee resembles Ms. Frizzle: white; unusual clothes, including teal blue socks and two-toned loafers; curly red hair piled messily on her head; and original in her teaching style. Her students are every shade. Strong-willed, take-charge Jamaika, a black girl, quickly appoints herself teacher’s assistant when Mrs. McBee asks for volunteers to clean up the room. The other kids set to work packing, labeling, and carrying even though they are very sad. There is one holdout, shirking his tasks, as Jamaika keeps pointing out. William, a white boy, doesn’t help and even disappears, but there is a surprise in store. The custodian delivers a box addressed to Mrs. McBee. “A yellow hard hat popped up like a jack-in-the-box.” William appears with a sheaf of papers. He has created wonderful pictures of the year’s exciting activities and a card for everyone to sign. On that note, the teacher makes a speech and invites everyone for a “McBeehive hug” and ice cream cones, with swirls of chocolate and vanilla—like “sad and happy twisted together.” The deeply colored, acrylic-and-gouache full-bleed double-page spreads show lots of busy activity in a classroom that any child would like to join.
A little sentimental but also a thoroughly satisfying solution to the issue of saying goodbye. (Picture book. 5-7)