My Teacher's Not Here!

My Teacher's Not Here! illus. by Christine Battuz. 32p. Kids Can. Apr. 2018. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781771383561.
PreS-Gr 1—A comforting and helpful story about just what to expect when your teacher is sick. Right away, the little cat knows something is amiss. Her teacher, Miss Seabrooke (a cozy looking chicken with happy round pink glasses) is not at school. She is even more startled by their substitute standing in Miss Seabrooke's spot. Mr. Omar (a tall giraffe with a deep voice), is very different from Miss Seabrooke and she is a bit scared and hesitant at first, but as the day goes by the young protagonist learns that she can manage without her teacher and even be a big help to Mr. Omar. The playtime images are fun and inviting, and textural overlays add depth to the hand-drawn and digital collage illustrations without cluttering the page. The classroom is filled with realistic and practical school details such as a handwashing station and a comfortable reading nook that can help acclimate younger readers to the things they might find in a school environment. The comical rhyming text perfectly captures the fear and hesitation of a day without the reassuring presence of a beloved teacher.
VERDICT A practical and reassuring book for parents and caregivers to share with young children, especially when their established routines are disrupted. Recommended for purchase.

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