“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

A Letter to my Teacher

Written by: Deborah Hopkinson

Illustrated by: Nancy Carpenter

Published by: Schwartz and Wade Books, New York. An imprint of Random House. April 2017

Ages:   4 – 8 years

Theme: empathy, patience, inspire

Opening Lines: Dear Teacher, When ever I had something to tell you, I tugged on your shirt and whispered in your ear. This time I’m writing a letter.

Synopsis: From Amazon– This funny, touching picture book –the perfect gift for a child to give to his/her own teacher– celebrates the difference a good teacher can make. Written as a thank-you note to a special teacher from the student who never forgot her, this moving story makes a great read-aloud and a perfect gift for Teacher Appreciation Day or the end of the school year. 

Dear Teacher, Whenever I had something to tell you, I tugged on your shirt and whispered in your ear. This time I’m writing a letter. So begins this heartfelt picture book about a girl who prefers running and jumping to listening and learning—and the teacher who gently inspires her. From stomping through creeks on a field trip to pretending to choke when called upon to read aloud, this book’s young heroine would be a challenge to any teacher. But this teacher isn’t just any teacher. By listening carefully and knowing just the right thing to say, she quickly learns that the girl’s unruly behavior is due to her struggles with reading. And at the very end, we learn…   Oh I am NOT going to give the ending away, like amazon did.

Why I like this: This is a lovely book and as it has already been said in the synopsis it is both touching and funny. I found the illustrations to be cute with the way the young girl stands leaning and absorbing what the teacher is telling her during extra sessions. Or the time the teacher tries to explain that it takes time to learn to read just like growing seeds takes time to grow, you see the young girl’s hand nervously posed by her mouth, showing shyness and embarrassment (something I used to do.) Or maybe she is giggling, but the reaction is so true to life. I loved how the teacher knew just what to say and do at the right time. Like when the girl’s cat ate one of the mice and although she replaced without the teacher knowing – she guessed. Well sort of! The patience the teacher had when she slipped away during a field trip of the city and the ability to combine schooling with outside activity – such as growing seeds. I laughed out loud when at summer break up the kids made a salad of the veges they had grown and as the principle took a mouthful saying “splendid spinach,” the young girl replies “It’s because of the worms.” Hahaha! Apart from the wonderful text and large clean mostly full page illustrations, this story is surprisingly told in flash-back. A young girl who is a loner and struggles to learn yet, with guidance and patience of a special teacher, is inspired. A thank you note is written to a special teacher remembered long after school has finished. This is a MUST READ.

Resources/Findings: A great exercise for children at school to write a thank you note to their teacher for Teacher Appreciation Day. Maybe the children could write a thank you letter as a girft to Mum or Dad for Father’s or Mother’s Day.

First Day of school could be writing a letter to your teacher about yourself, what your favourite hobbies are, do you have pets, favourite colour etc…

Here is a great template of activites inside and outside the classroom for children….   http://www.twinkl.co.nz/resources

Here is a template for writing a letter to your teacher…     https://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Letter-to-Your-Teacher

Here are teacher aids for teaching gardening in school…   https://www.teachervision.com/gardening

And another…   https://www.wikihow.com/Teach-Kids-to-Garden

I’m always pleased to be able to bring you some more special books that have come my way and be able to share them with you and join other great writers over at Susanna’s Blog, where there are literally hundreds of book reviews to view.  So pop over  and visit the lovely author, Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books.    Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with books reviewed by many authors

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About Diane Tulloch

Known also as the Patientdreamer I am a writer who loves to dream, and is passionate about writing stories for the young so that they may join me in the wonders of adventure in countries and cultures afar, and in special moments to remember.
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5 Responses to “Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

  1. Gabi Snyder says:

    This sounds like a heartwarming story and the perfect gift for all the amazing teachers who’ve made a difference. Thanks for sharing!

    • Yes it is a lovely idea to do this especially at the end of the school year. I’m sure they would love to know they have made a difference in at least one persons life. 🙂 Thanks for stopping bye.

  2. What a lovely choice. I think it is a great idea to encourage kids to write letters of appreciation to a teacher who stands out in their life or helps them through a difficult time. I did that once a long time ago. Unique and important story.

  3. Darlene says:

    I love this book. It is important for children to say Thank you to those who have made a difference in their lives. I tracked down my grade three teacher a few years ago and thanked her big time. Thankfully she is still around.

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