Saturday, June 23, 2018

Cartoon Saturday- Mr. Wolf's Class

Steinke, Aron Nels. Mr. Wolf's Class
June 26th 2018 by Scholastic/Graphix
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Mr. Wolf is starting his first year of teaching fourth grade. He sets up his classroom and waits for his students to arrive. He is pleased with their behavior on the rug, but struggles a bit when he ventures out to the office. Another teacher steals his stapler, and he runs a bit late when he's having a doughnut in the teachers' lounge. After he picks up his class from the library, they go back to their room, but one student, Penny, is missing! Mr. Wolf sends a student to the bathroom to check, and lets the principal know, but even when lunch starts, Penny is not back. She does show up at the end of recess, which Mr. Wolf extends, and the class ends the day with show and tell. On the bus home, Margot, who just moved to town, befriends Sampson, and they bond over a shared love of seashells. There is a second book in the works, entitled Mystery Club.
Strengths: Interestingly, this struck me as a sort of B is for Betsy in graphic novel form! You have the variety of students (who are all different animals, ala Marc Brown's Arthur), supportive adults, and very pedestrian activities that are nonetheless pleasantly interesting. This will be an enormous hit in elementary schools everywhere, and my 6th graders will pick the book up as well.
Weaknesses: I didn't believe that Penny was missing for so long, but it makes for a good story.
What I really think: Adding this to my PermaBound list of graphic and notebook novels to purchase in sturdier bindings.
Kwan, Garfield and Song, Dana. Squidtoons: Exploring Ocean Science with Comics
June 26th 2018 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
Copy provided by the publisher

This is a very detailed handbook about a variety of ocean creatures. From sea dragons to various fish to sharks and many others besides, we are given drawings detailing bodily features, information about habitats and breeding, and many odd and interesting facts that are both important and amusing. While all of the information is scientifically accurate and does not skimp on science (there are a lot of high level terms and explanations of things like gas exchange and failure of creatures to mate in captivity, for example), there is a lot of humor. The statistical facts behind fear of shark attacks pokes fun at the extreme fear they engender while comparing the number of people killed by them to the number of people who die annually at the hands (hooves?) of deer.

This could be a fun book for students who are tremendously interested in marine biology, and could be a useful resource to keep in a classroom where these animals are studied. This is one of those books where it's not a bad idea to buy two-- one to use to look up facts, and the other to cut apart, laminate, and use on bulletin boards!

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