I HATE SCHOOL

Jeanne Willis, Author, Tony Ross, Illustrator
Jeanne Willis, Author, Tony Ross, Illustrator , illus. by Tony Ross. Atheneum/Schwartz $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-689-86523-7
Reviewed on: 06/28/2004
Release date: 06/01/2004
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-1-84270-463-9
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Any child who strongly resists school will find an advocate in young Honor Brown. "My teacher is a warty toad!/ My classroom is a hole!" she wails in this aria of woe, from the team behind I Want to Be a Cowgirl and the Professor Xargle series. "The cafeteria ladies feed us worms,/ And rabbit poo, and coal!" Ross clearly relishes this catalogue of horrors; his crisp watercolor-and-ink spot illustrations dutifully chronicle classmates who pose as pirates, a wading pool filled with killer sharks, and a disciplinary policy that advocates throwing students off the roof. But despite what the narrator would like the world to believe about her school, Ross serves up the macabre doings with a cheery wink—there's no mistaking Honor Brown for one of Edward Gorey's beleaguered Gashlycrumb Tinies. Youngsters will grasp from the get-go that she's pushing the envelope with her exaggerations, but they'll identify with and chuckle at her sense of drama. Ages 4-8. (July)

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