Saturday, April 5, 2014

Miss Smith's Incredible Storybook



Zack hopes this school year won't be like every other year - BORING!  When Miss Smith walks in the door with her spiky red hair, leather jacket, red high tops and "The Clash" button, he has high hopes.  The school day proceeds normally until...Miss Smith begins to read aloud to her class.

As she reads, the storybook characters come to life and leap off the pages, enveloping the class in a swashbuckling pirate tale.  Story time becomes his favorite part of the day and he can't wait to go to school.

One day, Miss Smith gets stuck in traffic and the principal comes to class to read aloud until she arrives. But when the storybook characters begin to leap off the pages, Principal Rittenrotten panics and runs for help.  The students begin to grab for the book, each starting a new story, which ends as the book is yanked from their grasp and a new story is started by another student.  The room, the hallways, and soon the entire school is filled with storybook characters who refuse to go back inside the book.  Zack figures out that the stories must be finished in order for the characters to return to the book, but the characters don't want to go back, so they begin a tug-o-war over the book.

Fortunately, Miss Smith arrives to save the day.

Michael Garland is the author and the illustrator of this book and his clever illustrations assist young readers with the difficult skill of inference without them even realizing it.  One of my favorite pages shows the outside of the school as Miss Smith pulls up - kids will enjoy identifying all of the storybook characters swarming around the school.

Readers will be reminded of the first time they got lost in a story because of a parent's or teacher's ability to not just read to them, but to make the story come alive.  I only get to spend 15-20 minutes of my school day reading aloud for pleasure, but this book reminds me just how important those minutes are to my students.

Miss Smith's Incredible Storybook is the first in a series of books about this adventurous, creative young teacher.

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