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MR. TANEN’S TIE TROUBLE by Maryann Cocca-Leffler


by Maryann Cocca-Leffler & illustrated by Maryann Cocca-Leffler

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: March 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-8075-5305-0
Publisher: Whitman

Lynnhurst School Principal Mr. Tanen is happy to be the first one back from winter break. He’s also happy to see the rooms are painted and the heat and the refrigerator have been fixed. A call from the school department interrupts Mr. Tanen’s morning ritual of choosing a tie from his ample supply. The winter repairs drained the budget and there’s no money for the promised playground repairs. Mr. Tanen is distraught. The students worked hard all Fall to earn their part of the money. Then he hits on an idea. He auctions his beloved ties to raise the money. Everyone in town buys one, and the playground project is saved. The ribbon-cutting on the new playground is actually a tie-untying as the whole town returns the ties to the man who made them famous. Cocca-Leffler’s snappy and smiling watercolor-and-chalk illustrations bring Mr. Tanen and the denizens of Lynnhurst to life. Younger readers might not grasp the budgetary plot points, and a few older readers might find Mr. T’s altruism hard to believe. However, the twice-stated message “the more you give, the more you get” is a lesson every elementary student should take to heart. Fans of Mr. Tanen’s first tale (Mr. Tanen’s Ties, 1999) will not be disappointed at this welcome return. (Picture book. 5-9)