Teaching Mrs. Muddle

Pajama Pr. Sept. 2020. 32p. ed. by ed. by Alice Carter. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781772781311.
PreS-Gr 2–The first day of school can be scary and very, very confusing, and not just for the students. Kayla, with straight dark brown hair and light brown skin, worries about her first day of kindergarten, unsure about the location of the bathroom and wondering what her mother will do without her for an entire day. But when Kayla and her mother arrive at school to find her new teacher, Mrs. Muddle, a white lady with red curls, handing name tags to the wrong children and reading a book upside down, Kayla takes charge to keep the class, their teacher, and the first day of school on track. Nelson embraces the nervousness of walking into a school for the first time and blends those feelings with the antics of a hapless teacher who would get along just fine with Amelia Bedelia. Friendly and colorful illustrations depict a diverse group of students with a zany teacher at the helm, dressed in polka dots from her pants to her vest to the headband desperately trying to hold back her hair. Children not yet old enough to read will be engrossed by the detailed images of all the places they may find in a school building.
VERDICT This story is perfectly suited to settle some first day jitters, but will also be appreciated by teachers and parents who know what it takes to help children feel comfortable in new environments.

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