Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the Dear Substitute Blog Tour organized by Rockstar Book Tours.
Title: DEAR SUBSTITUTE
Author: Audrey Vernick, Liz Garton Scanlon, & Chris Raschka (Illustrations)
Pub. Date: June 19, 2018
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
When a substitute teacher named Miss Pelly comes to class, one student bristles at the change in routine-Miss Pelly doesn’t follow the rules like Mrs. Giordano. But in time, our student learns that even though the substitute may do things a little differently, and she may be a bit silly, mixing things up might not be so bad. Told in a series of epistolary poems, this funny, relatable picture book is a great fit for classrooms and for any child nervous about new experiences.
There is no substitute for a great teacher or is there? Written as a series of humorous letters, Dear Substitute gives readers a child’s perspective of having a substitute teacher for the day. On the very first page, the young narrator immediately shares her displeasure and wonders “Where’s Mrs. Giordano and why didn’t she warn us?” As the day progresses, the substitute is not held in high regard because she mispronounces students’ names, fails to collect homework, and she is not aware it’s Tank Tuesday. Let’s hope Elmo the turtle will survive one more day in dirty water. According to our narrator, Miss Pelly (Pelly like a pelican) doesn’t take anything seriously which may be why she’s not worried about students returning books to the library or who is supposed to be line leader.
While Miss Pelly may not follow all the rules and routines, she does catch the narrator swapping food at lunch, which evokes some tears from the young student. Thankfully, her sadness is short-lived, for Miss Pelly shares funny poems which inspire the narrator to write her own poem with the help of the substitute. Although Mrs. Giordano is missed, it turns out that a switch-around day with Miss Pelly is actually A-OK.
Dear Substitute is an amusing and engaging story that will entertain both students and teachers. I love the message that change while scary can lead to positive results. Who would ever argue with more story time and encouraging students to write poetry? The authors definitely did their research, for the voice of the young narrator is spot on. The structure of the text told in epistolary poems makes the text fun to read aloud especially since each letter is written for a different recipient. Chris Rascha’s lively and detailed watercolor illustrations beautifully complement the text, for the artwork gives readers additional insight about the narrator’s feelings towards Miss Pelly and how they change throughout the story. As I am reading and gathering read alouds for the new school year and planning for #classroombookaday, Dear Substitute is without a doubt a picture book I will share with both teachers and students in the fall.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Audrey grew up in Whitestone, New York, where she lived with her parents and two sisters and a not very bright small white dog. She has a freaky memory about the names of the kids in her class at P.S. 184Q, and even remembers where most of them stood in size order. She always loved to read and still rereads Harriet the Spy on a regular basis. She was not one of those children who always knew she wanted to be a writer; she didn’t love to write until college. She’s been writing ever since. In addition to writing for children, Audrey has published more than a dozen short stories for adults in magazines and literary journals. She received a MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and has been honored with two fiction fellowships from the New Jersey State Council of the Arts. Audrey divides her time between writing (which is mostly spent revising) and visiting elementary schools to talk about writing and publishing. (For school visit info, click here.) She also speaks at conferences around the country. She lives near the ocean in New Jersey with her family and a semi-smart medium-sized dog. Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Liz Garton Scanlon is the author of numerous beloved books for young people, including the highly-acclaimed, Caldecott-honored picture book All the World, illustrated by Marla Frazee, and her debut novel for middle grade readers, The Great Good Summer, as well as The Good-Pie Party; Happy Birthday, Bunny!; Noodle & Lou, and several others. Ms. Scanlon is also a poet, a teacher and a frequent & popular presenter at schools, libraries and conferences. She grew up in Colorado and Wisconsin, and now lives with her husband and two daughters in Austin, Texas.
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Would you like to own a copy of Dear Substitute for your library? Thanks to Rockstar Book Tours, they are giving away 3 finished copies of this fabulous book (US only). Be sure to take the time and enter this fantastic giveaway. Please click link below to enter!
Join us on the other stops of this tour for more giveaway chances and to read more about Dear Substitute.
6/18/2018- For the Love of KidLit– Interview
6/19/2018- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review
6/20/2018- Mythical Books– Guest Post
6/21/2018- Book-Keeping– Review
6/22/2018- Wonder Struck– Review