cover image Mr. S

Mr. S

Monica Arnaldo. HarperCollins/Tegen, $19.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-300395-8

Confusion, mystery, and laughs are on the menu in Arnaldo’s deliciously goofy back-to-school tale. A dozen fresh-faced kindergartners of varying abilities and skin tones arrive in classroom 2B, where they find, instead of a human teacher behind the big desk, “an impressive-looking sandwich” as well as “Mr. S” scrawled on the chalkboard. Hesitantly, the group accepts their position as students of “Mr. Sandwich.” As the children guide themselves—under the sandwich’s watchful green-olives-on-a-toothpick eyes—through art, music, and storytime, readers are privy to a second story line unfolding calamitously in the parking lot outside the classroom window. Just as the students reignite their debate about Mr. S’s role, a pink-skinned adult bursts into the room—and settles the matter of who’s in charge in an unexpected way. Readers will find plenty to chuckle over in Mr. S’s floppy lunch-meat tongue, the kids’ interactions, and the background commotion, all rendered in high-energy earth-toned images. Ages 4–8. (June)