cover image My School Stinks!

My School Stinks!

Becky Scharnhorst, illus. by Julia Patton. Philomel, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-593-11652-4

Stuart, a freckled, pale-skinned, redheaded child with glasses, is nervous for their first day of school at Wildwood Elementary—only to face a beastly surprise. The class is made up entirely of unruly animals: the monkeys drop Stuart from the monkey bars onto Patricia the porcupine, Betty the beaver whittles through all of the child’s pencils, and Charlie the crocodile eats their science experiment. But slowly, Stuart begins to adjust to the new environment with the help of their mouse teacher and a friendly crocodile classmate. Scharnhorst’s humorous narration is presented on each page as Stuart’s diary entries on notebook paper inserts. Animal humor aplenty enlivens the tale, while Patton’s mixed traditional and digital media art amplify the comedy with dynamic scenes and cartoonish characters. An encouraging new-kid narrative told from an entertaining perspective. Ages 4–8. (July)