SUBSTITUTE TEACHER PLANS

Doug Johnson, Author, Tammy Smith, Illustrator , illus. by Tammy Smith. Holt $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8050-6520-6

When her students start swinging from the light fixture and growling like wild animals, Miss Huff calls in a substitute and makes two lists—one for her vacation day, the other for the substitute teacher—and then she mixes up the lists. The book alternates between Miss Huff happily following the lesson plan ("Reading—9:15 to 10:30") and the children as they ride a roller coaster, go skydiving, etc. With their wide eyes and wide mouths, debut illustrator Smith's clay people look as eccentric as the day's agenda as they cavort at the beach, meet an octopus while scuba diving, and discover that Mrs. Martin, the substitute, is also a lion tamer ("That's why Mrs. Martin was such a great substitute teacher. Anybody who could train lions could handle kids"). Johnson (Never Babysit the Hippopotamuses!) dampens the excitement with a resolution that arises from neither characters nor action ("Although the children had fun with Mrs. Martin, they really loved Miss Huff, even if they didn't always show it"), but Smith's computer-assisted collages, favoring loud reds and purples, frequently add humor (Miss Huff's cat seems to groan when "mouse" is the winning word in their Scrabble game). Ages 5-8. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 06/10/2002
Release date: 08/01/2002
Genre: Children's
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