How To Get Your Teacher Ready

illus. by Lee Wildish. 32p. Knopf. Jul. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780553538250.
PreS-Gr 2—The sweetness of this book will entice readers young and old. Reagan provides guides to basic school rules, celebrations like 100 Days and class plays, and even the bittersweet moment of moving up a grade. These are meant to put kids at ease with school situations and let them know they're not alone. As the most recent edition in the "How To…" series, this book plays to adult readers, amusing parents, while giving kids a light structure for their student experience, and reflecting gently but profoundly on the special role that teachers play in their students lives. Though the flow of the book is a bit unfamiliar—definitely a "how to" rather than a narrative—it is an effective method to build empathy and appreciation for the formative day-to-day work of educators. Wildish's illustrations are soft, expressive, full of hugs and smiles and silly faces, and add to the light and upbeat tone. Missteps like a thin-lined font choice and an oddly light hand on character faces distract from but don't derail the experience.
VERDICT A tender read-together for an early elementary or pre-K audience, this is a surprisingly thoughtful read for parents and teachers to share and discuss with children.

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