Ho Ho Homework

Mylisa Larsen, illus. by Taia Morley. HarperCollins, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-279688-2
For weeks, Jack has been wishing for snow, but that preoccupation suddenly gives way to a new fascination for him and his classmates when a new substitute teacher, Mr. Clausen, arrives. The kids notice significant likenesses between the sub and a seasonal celebrity: he sports a white beard, is “more patient than most teachers,” and has a “big laugh [that] left most of the kids wide-eyed.” The students are also intrigued by Mr. Clausen’s appetite for reindeer-shaped cookies, his penchant for list making, and his interest in the aerodynamics of flying sleds. Larsen nimbly balances Jack’s stubborn skepticism (“So he likes sleds.... Everybody likes sleds”) with his friends’ well-founded suspicions about the identity of their teacher who—in a fetching finale that involves a homework assignment and a sudden snowfall—makes a believer out of Jack. Bold watercolor and digital pictures by Morley may help do the same for young listeners. Paper snowflake instructions are included. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 10/02/2019
Release date: 09/01/2019
Genre: Children's
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