cover image Miss Malarkey Doesn't Live in Room

Miss Malarkey Doesn't Live in Room

Judy Finchler. Walker & Company, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8027-8386-8

Debut author Finchler and O'Malley (Cinder Edna) comically indulge children's fantasies about their teachers in this ticklish tale. The narrator, convinced that his teacher, Miss Malarkey, lives at school, visualizes her life there after hours: she plays in the gym with the other teachers and sleeps in one of the bunk beds that are surely in the Teachers' Room: ``No wonder kids aren't allowed in there. I'm sure teachers don't want us to see their messy room,'' he reasons. But when Miss Malarkey moves into his apartment house, he learns that teachers have lives outside of school, and they can even be nice, normal neighbors. O'Malley's caricaturish art pictures teachers wearing bunny slippers and engaging in pillow fights, and he adds funny details like a moving van emblazoned with ``Bill's Scratch and Dent Movers'' and a school menu of frog legs and rabbit stew. An original premise, with lots of kid-appeal. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)