Teaching Mrs. Muddle by Colleen Nelson, illustrated by Alice Carter

Teaching Mrs. Muddle by Colleen Nelson, illustrated by Alice Carter. Pajama Press, 9781772781311, 2020

Format: Hardcover

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3

Genre: Picture book

What did you like about the book? Kayla is nervous about her first day of kindergarten, but has so much fun at school she forgets about her worries. Mrs. Muddle, her teacher, makes mistake after mistake all day long, and Kayla and her new classmates must help her out. Kids will love laughing at the mistakes she makes, including giving out the wrong name tags, holding a book upside down during a read aloud, and taking the class all around the school and into many wrong rooms while looking for the gym and the bathrooms. Whether or not the reader knows that Mrs. Muddle’s “mistakes” were on purpose, they will enjoy following her and the class all around the school. I appreciated the variety of skin colors in the characters, and the inclusion of a few male teachers. The illustrations add to the humor and really give the feel of a tour around an elementary school. 

Anything you did not like about the book. Kayla is the main character so it makes sense that she “fixes” most of the teacher’s mistakes, but the other kids in the class were very much left out of the action.

To whom would you recommend this book? This would be a perfect read aloud for a first day of kindergarten (or preschool, or first grade). I would also recommend it to adults to read with children who are nervous about starting school for the first time, or for young readers who like funny school stories. 

Who should buy this book? Elementary school librarians, public librarians, kindergarten teachers

Where would you shelve it? Picture books

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Sarah Bickel, Greenlodge Elementary School, Dedham Massachusetts

Date of review: Dec. 6, 2020

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