Monday, February 28, 2011

Miss. Nelson is Missing!

I was crazy about the book Miss Nelson is Missing! when I was in lower elementary school. I was crazy for it as a librarian reading to that age group as well. Now, as a parent to a rambunctuous toddler and preschooler, I am wishing for a Ms. Viola Swamp to come in and restore order every now and then.

If you are unfamiliar with the story, it is quite clever and a general crowd pleaser. A group of rowdy students constantly take advantage of their teacher's good nature. So their sweet and patient Miss. Nelson concocts a plan -one day she goes missing and is replaced with a very different type of substitute-Viola Swamp. Ms. Swamp is strict, heavy on the homework, and never allows story hour. Oh, how the children miss Miss. Nelson- and when she finally does return- they are only on their very best behavior... of course, then Ms. Swamp is nowhere to be found....

It seems that most kids love the idea of school children trying to get rid of a crabby substitute and the fact that, at story's end, it appears our beloved Miss. Nelson and the surly Ms. Swamp are one in the same!

This picture book is interesting in that it inspires all sorts of conversations- about respect, identity, fear, but mostly it is just darn funny and fun.

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