MY TEACHER by James Ransome

MY TEACHER

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8

KIRKUS REVIEW

A young girl sporting dreadlocks addresses readers directly, telling them all about her teacher in an attempt to explain why the elderly woman continues to teach in her school rather than retiring or teaching “across town, where the sun always shines.”

The standard elements are all here: She encourages their talents, teaches a love of reading, addresses their concerns, shows off their progress, seizes the teachable moment and, most especially, helps them make their dreams come true. Readers will find the typical classroom activities here (journal writing and reports, among others) but also some that may be new to them: dancing to jazz records, collecting food for needy neighborhood families and hearing stories about prior students. Readers will certainly appreciate the exceptional qualities of this teacher, but they may not respond to the manner in which her praises are sung. Ransome leaves no room for doubt that this is an underprivileged school in a predominantly minority neighborhood. His watercolors depict a kindly teacher with a loving face and her diverse bunch of studious students, whose expressive faces practically show the growth and learning that are taking place. Although children may benefit from seeing a rather different classroom than that usually portrayed, this is one of those picture books seemingly aimed more at adults than kids. The dedication says it all: “To all the dedicated teachers who come in early, leave late, and give a little something extra for the students.”

Still, as a Teacher Appreciation Day gift, it's a mighty nice alternative to an apple. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 26th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8037-3259-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Dial
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2012




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