FICTION

If I Built a School

Dial. Aug. 2019. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780525552918.
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K-Gr 3–School would be infinitely more fun if it were designed by a kid. One day on the playground, a young boy tells his teacher his vision of a perfect school. In it, there are zooming pods to transport students from class to class, classrooms that open up to the sky, and a robo-chef who will make anything requested of it. While there are elements that support traditional learning, most features of this ideal school emphasize fun. Told in excellently structured rhyming couplets, this story has a Seussian feel, although the vocabulary is much more varied and advanced. Though there is a sizable amount of text on each page, its design keeps the flow of the book moving at a comfortable pace. The illustrations have a modern, digital feel, incorporating exaggerated rosy cheeks on the main characters. Bright colors make the pages visually appealing, and the detail invites readers to scrutinize each image. Reluctant readers will be especially intrigued by this book, as it is engaging on a variety of levels. Additionally, the vivid imagination of the main character will inspire readers to create utopian schools of their own.
VERDICT This book is an auditory treat to share with early elementary aged readers in a read-aloud setting

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