cover image The Teacher’s Pet

The Teacher’s Pet

Anica Mrose Rissi, illus. by Zachariah OHora. Disney-Hyperion, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4847-4364-5

As a teacher, Mr. Stricter has a lot of good qualities, presumably, but animal identification isn’t one of them. A class science project—hatching tadpoles—ends with all but one of them being released into the wild; the one the class keeps as a pet, named Bruno, grows into a hippo. “Isn’t he adorable?” asks a cheerfully oblivious Mr. Stricter after Bruno flattens his desk. Rissi’s (the Anna Banana series) very funny text is a model of understatement and restraint (the word hippo never appears), allowing OHora (The Not So Quiet Library) to make the most of the story’s physical comedy in thickly painted scenes spiked with neon orange. Mr. Stricter is a classic bumbler cut from Amelia Bedelia’s cloth, and readers will hope that his class has more oddball tales in store. Ages 3–5. [em]Author’s agent: Meredith Kaffel Simonoff, DeFiore and Company. Illustrator’s agent: Sean McCarthy, Sean McCarthy Literary. (June) [/em]