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“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”
Summary: Like all great teachers, Mrs. Jenkins has extra-sensory perception. The Franks brothers perpetuate a series of mishaps in class that they find humorous, but the victims do not. When Mrs. Jenkins asks everyone to pick a partner for square dance practice, will anyone dance with the Franks? This is a combination picture book / early reader with a great back-to-school message.
Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, playtime reading, read aloud book, learning to read
Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 6 to 8
Age of Child: Shared with 6-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: Our daughter picked this from the school library "because it's pink and has bubble gum on it." It was the first item out of the bookbag, and despite having sat all day, she asked us to read it right away. There were several times in the story where we paused for an "uh-oh" and observations about various character's behavior.
Adult Reader Reaction: Bravo! Although this isn't a story we'll read every night, it is nice to read and has an important message. The author does a superb job offering events that help younger children distinguish humor from bullying.
Pros: This is an excellent book to share with pre-readers, and a fun book to partner read with older children.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is perfect for the school or public library. You will definitely want to read it with your child, but the message is one that is best reinforced with a variety of books.
Educational Themes: This is a story that gives children a front-row seat to learn about (or offer solutions for) bullying, friendship, respect, and life at school.
Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, bullying, series book
Date(s) Reviewed: October 2007
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