ATTACK OF THE FIFTY-FOOT TEACHER by Lisa Passen

ATTACK OF THE FIFTY-FOOT TEACHER

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A potentially humorous Halloween caper is left stranded in the author’s latest effort. The story starts with the formidable Miss Irma Birmbaum—an unsinkable retro presence as drawn by Passen (Uncle’s New Suit, 1992, etc.)—giving her class of students the business: “No talking! Pass your homework assignments forward. Open your books to page 24. Read!” It so happened to be Halloween, but did that stop Miss Birmbaum from ladling on the homework? Forget about it. After the kids shuffle off with their math and history and spelling assignments, Miss Birmbaum stays behind to correct tests, and then heads for home. Taking a detour, she has a close encounter with a spaceship, which results in her being morphed into a fifty-foot teacher. Heading back to town, she runs into her students, who are out trick-or-treating. “Do your parents know you’re wandering about at this unearthly hour? I'm taking you all to the principal.” She arrives at the principal’s house and hands the kids over, also noting that they haven’t done their homework. But the principal knows how to put a 50-foot teacher in her place: “Good grief, woman! Who gives homework on Halloween? Don't you remember what it was like to be a child?” Presto, Miss Birmbaum remembers and becomes sweet as candy herself. Next day, too. That's pretty hard to swallow, as excuses go, and deeply unsatisfying, like driving in a car that runs out of gas: the sudden stillness is disconcerting. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-8050-6100-2
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2000




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