I know an old teacher Story

Anne Bowen, 1952-

Book - 2008

In this take on the well-known cumulative rhyme, a teacher inadvertently swallows a flea, then follows it with an assortment of classroom pets while her students look on in surprise.

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Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room jE/Bowen Checked In
Stories in rhyme
Picture books
Minneapolis : Carolrhoda Books 2008.
Physical Description
unpaged : col. ill
Main Author
Anne Bowen, 1952- (-)
Other Authors
Stephen Gammell (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Review

In this loose variation of the familiar cumulative song, a teacher takes home the class fish, rat, snake, and lizard, then proceeds to swallow them in succession after gulping down a flea (by accident) and a spider (deliberately). In Gammell's typically outlandish illustrations, wildly lined and vividly colored, a crew of horrified young witnesses peers in through Miss Bindley's window. They watch as the teacher, looking increasingly disheveled and nauseated beneath her wild mane of red hair, stuffs each creature into her mouth. With nothing left to eat, one child notes:  Hey! She's staring at YOU! Staring at ME? (gulp) How can that be? Happily, before anything fatal happens to eater or eatee, the children carry her off, evidently believing her loud protest that she would never swallow a child. Though the rhythms are too irregular to be easily singable, this rendition features plenty of crowd-pleasing gross bits that will get kids going.--Peters, John Copyright 2008 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-4-Miss Bindley takes the class pets home for a long weekend and develops an eerie, extraordinary craving. Following the traditional cumulative rhyme, all of them disappear in a round of Fear Factor-inspired eating-a flea, spider, fish, rat, Jake the Snake, and, as students cry in horror, "She's got our Lizzie!"-the class lizard. Miss Bindley, in turn, grows less appealing with the turn of each page. Hair becomes flyaway and frizzy, her cozy robe falls into a frumpy sack, and her face turns-well, a bilious green. Gammell's lively artwork is a colorful combination of watercolor, colored pencils, pastel, and crayon framed by a mix of font sizes and colors. Assisted by conversational responses from Miss Bindley's students, who are spying on her, the tale progresses as tails disappear until the unlikely becomes the outrageous-"I know an old teacher who swallowed a child...." Would she really try that? The horrifying notion is entertained, but to the relief of readers, is tossed aside in this unusual offering.-Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Kirkus Book Review

When faced with a long weekend, Miss Bindley decides to bring the class pets home with her, promising her students she'll take good care of them. But when a flea falls from her unkempt hair into her tea and she inadvertently swallows it, she has to get rid of it somehow. So she swallows the spider that crawls down her wall in the hopes that it will gobble the flea. The spying students cannot believe their eyes as the creatures their teacher swallows get larger and more beloved--they are the class pets, after all! When at last all the pets are gone, a student spies Miss Bindley staring at his friend. " 'Swallow a child?' / The old teacher smiled... / 'I would never do that!' " Gammell's gleefully messy illustrations give children an original view of teachers' private lives. His characters are full of personality, and textures seem to leap off the pages. This updated version matches the original in futility and repugnancy, but trumps it with a happier, deathless, ending. Class pets beware. (Picture book. 5-9) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.