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by Laura Leuck & illustrated by Scott Nash

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: July 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-06-029694-1
Publisher: HarperCollins

Who better to deal with a class of little monsters than a toothy, green-skinned teacher with a lizard’s tail and witchy powers? In Nash’s otherwise-familiar classroom scenes, many of the children really are juvenile versions of famous Creature Feature creatures: a vampirelet, a loosely-wrapped mummy, a furry wolf-boy, a black-clad child whose last name has to be Addams, and so on. The young narrator regards his “creature teacher” with a mix of respect and affection, whether she’s rejecting his “ . . . taped and glued / assignments that my werewolf chewed,” dispatching a bully to the Principal’s office aboard a flying broom, or leading everyone outside “for recess time / to jump and play in piles of slime.” Despite plenty of extra limbs and googly eyes, there’s not a trace of eeriness here; even sensitive or younger readers will respond with giggles rather than shivers to this tongue-in-cheek tribute—and likely take to heart the closing line: “So if your creature teacher’s near— / thank her for her help this year!” Quite a contrast to Edith Pattou’s Mrs. Spitzer’s Garden, illustrated by Tricia Tusa (2001), but the message is the same. (Picture book. 6-8)