Sisson’s bright illustrations in brown-bordered panels build Pulver’s story of two mischievous friends who try to coax and even bribe their teacher to allow them to sit together.
In response to the pranks of two students, Jack and Samir, Miss Doover creates an essay prompt to teach her class about persuasive writing. Images of notebook paper with drafts of student essays explore the process of developing a written argument, while quotation bubbles contain Miss Doover’s grammar corrections and introduce vocabulary words such as “frivolity,” “nemesis,” and “conspire.” The instructions are clear and helpful, with Miss Doover providing an example for young readers to use when working on their own essays. However, the early, abrupt entrance and exit of the principal interrupts an otherwise very cohesive book. His inclusion seems to serve no purpose other than to introduce vocabulary words and information about a canceled field trip that is mentioned only once more, and the comic relief he could provide is not developed. Various shades of browns and pinks color the characters, with Miss Doover and Samir presenting black and Jack and the principal presenting white. However, outside of the color of their skin and some varied hair textures, Sisson’s gently stylized children all have the same round faces and spare noses, with no real exploration of phenotypic differences.
A helpful step-by-step exploration of drafting and writing essays for early learners, though not without some bumps. (Picture book. 6-10)