Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Iris and Walter and the substitute teacher

Iris and Walter and the substitute teacher

Elissa Haden Guest
Illustrator:  Christine Davenier 
Fiction  Series
For ages 6 to 9
Harcourt Paperbacks, 2006   ISBN: 978-0152053765

Iris loves going to school. She loves her classroom, and her lessons, and most of all she loves her teacher Miss Cherry. Every day when she walks home from school she tells Grandpa all about her day, and he tells her about what his life was like when he was a teacher.

One day when she gets to school Iris learns that Miss Cherry is sick and her class is going to have a substitute. This has never happened before and no one knows what to expect. Imagine how surprised Iris is when Grandpa walks in. He is going to be the substitute teacher for the day! Iris is even more surprised when the principal appoints her the "special helper" for the class, and she ends up having a wonderful day helping Grandpa. All the children agree that he is a wonderful teacher.

The next day Grandpa is the substitute again, but this time Iris does not enjoy the day at all. Grandpa cannot give Iris all his attention all the time and Iris begins to wish she could have her Grandpa all to herself again.

In this excellent title in the Iris and Walter series, children who get upset because they sometimes have to share their family members with other people will find comfort knowing that they are not the only ones to feel the way they do. Sharing Iris's experience will remind them that their family member loves them too and that they are always special to their mother or father, their aunt or their uncle, their sister or brother, their Grandpa or Grandma. They are never forgotten just because their family member is sometimes busy with others.

Told with great sensitivity, and perfectly styled for the beginner reader who wants a new challenge, this is an excellent little book for young children.