Principal Tate Is Running Late!

Henry Cole. HarperCollins/Tegen, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-302574-5
Cole paints a portrait of an elementary school in distress when Principal Tate, the white hen in charge, runs late one morning. With visitors ranging from a state dietitian to disgruntled animalian parents lining up for appointments, the school seems like it may erupt into chaos, until the staff steps up to the plate. The rhyming text, while uneven in meter, is nonetheless lively (“And a new kid threw up.../ (It was her first day.)/ And one kid named Trey/ wore his undies wrong way”), with abundant tongue-in-cheek humor. Fine-lined ink illustrations, sweetened by gentle watercolor washes, depict the school with an expressive population of varying abilities, sizes, and species. While the conclusion feels a bit preachy, this amusing picture book gamely lauds school staff and the hurdles they must regularly overcome. Ages 4–8. (July)
Reviewed on : 06/24/2021
Release date: 07/06/2021
Genre: Children's
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