I love this picture book written by Peter Brown. It helps that I met him at the Michigan Reading Association Annual Conference in Grand Rapids this past March. Every time I read the book I fall in love all over again. I love Peter Brown’s wry humor. I think his dedication page sums it all up. He writes: “To misunderstood teachers and their misunderstood students”. In the beginning of the book we are introduced to Bobby and his teacher, Ms. Kirby. We come to understand Bobby’s problem on the first page. His big problem is Ms. Kirby. Over the pages of quirky illustrations we learn all about Ms. Kirby through her actions towards Bobby. She is a monster. Literally and figuratively. She is green, has a large over sized mouth full of jagged teeth, and she roars at Bobby. He is terrified of her. Peter Brown has drawn Bobby very tiny. This mirrors how Bobby feels in Ms. Kirby’s presence. Ms. Kirby could be described as rude, mean, crass. Then one day, the worse thing ever happens to Bobby. He runs in to her in the park. He wants to disappear. If you’ve ever run in to your teacher in the grocery store, this might be how you feel. If, on the other hand, you are a teacher and you’ve run into one of your students in the grocery store you probably did not meet his expectations of you either. Bobby and Ms. Kirby are each transformed over the course of their morning together in the park. Back at school, however, Ms. Kirby was the same teacher as always. Only different. Pick up a copy of this book at your library or local book seller. You’ll be charmed as I am.
The illustrations are