Author & Illustrator – Peter Brown
Release Year – First published in 2014
Publisher – Macmillan (UK)
Age group – 3-6 years
Available on – Amazon India
Monster are not always what they seem.
My Teacher is not a Monster is a story of a school going boy, Bobby who throws paper airplanes in the classroom and is sure his teacher, Miss Kirby is a monster. Miss Kirby surely shows monstrous characteristics with all the stomping and roaring at the children. One Saturday morning, Bobby goes to a park to spend his free time and to get over the monster problems. To his bad luck, he spots Miss Kirby sitting on a bench. He gets frightened but sensing no way to escape, he sits down beside her in silence. When the wind blows over Miss Kirby’s enormous hat, Bobby rums around to catch it. Miss Kirby declares him as her Hero after he prevents the hat from falling into the water. Both warm up to each other with some quacking with the ducks, climbing a cliff to Bobby’s favourite spot, throwing paper airplane and having a nice time together. The question which remains is – “But, is Miss Kirby still a monster?”
My Review –
This book is pertinent to school children and their perspective of their teachers. May be equating teachers to monsters is extreme but the students who are mischievous and are constantly at the receiving end from their teachers may have similar opinions, as in Bobby’s case. With younger children, it is more difficult to see teachers as humans.
The depiction of Miss Kirby as a monster is intelligently done – a little bit of description in words and a lot of conveying through the illustration. She is shown as green in colour showing anger with sharp teeth and claws. As the story progresses with both Miss Kirby and Bobby becoming comfortable with each other, the green colour lightens up to a warm brown with the sharp teeth and claws going away. For Bobby, she became a person whom there was no need to be afraid of any longer. However, a teacher will not take it for granted and will get mad if the discipline of the class is disturbed by the way of paper airplanes for one. This is aptly shown as the green colour returning at the end.
The title of the book might sound like offensive, especially to teachers but it is not limiting. It is a child’s small sojourn with accepting his teacher as a warm-hearted person thereby changing his perspective of her as a monster.
My verdict –
This book can actually be helpful to your child if he/she is going through a phase of a hard time with a teacher (like in my case currently) or even just for fun.
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