Thursday, January 24, 2013

#5- Substitute Creacher

5) Substitute Creacher
Written by: Chris Gall
Illustrated by: Chris Gall
Little, Brown, and Co.
38 pages
Picture Book

            I chose this book because of the interesting cover art, and I thought it would be neat to use for Halloween. I came to find out that it is much more than a Halloween book! The story is about an unruly class whose teacher is so tired that she gets a substitute to come in. When the substitute teacher—um, creature—walks in, the students are not afraid despite his ghoulish appearance. He begins to tell the class horror stories of students in the past who have broken rules and the terrible things that happened to them. The class is still ridiculous. The substitute creature tells them a final story about a young boy who—well, I don’t want to ruin the story for you, but it calms the students down and they learn a new appreciation for showing respect to others. It was a great read.

            The illustrations in this book are vibrant. The note in the front of the book says they were created using “bat wings, toad juice, and the bundled whiskers of a black cat”, but it looks more like paint to me. They fill up the entire page. The narration of the book is written in a normal font, but when the substitute creature begins talking, the author uses a different font and bright speech bubbles. Each page is very intricately designed, with tiny nuances, which carry across the full extent of the class’ shenanigans. They also depict a fall-like environment.

            This book is a great read for children up to about fourth grade. The ending is very unpredictable, making it enjoyable for older children as well as you young ones. There are many ways to incorporate this book into the classroom. Of course, it would be good to use around Halloween time as a read aloud. You could also use it when introducing classroom rules to the students, but it would be especially funny to read the day before you know you will have a substitute in the classroom. It is a great read for anytime you need to calm your students down!


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