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Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 04/01/2017 K-Gr 3—A picture book about a teacher who announces that she is leaving the school at the end of the year. It's not clear whether she is retiring or transferring; the students know only that they are heartbroken. They think of all the things Mrs. McBee will miss when she leaves. She won't get to see her students, hear them read, or watch them grow. Their reaction is completely spot-on. There's no real thought about Mrs. McBee; all they can think about is how her absence will affect them. To take the kids' minds off her leaving, Mrs. McBee enlists their aid in cleaning the room and making sure everything is ready for the next class. Jamaika, a bossy leader if ever there was one, gives everyone a job, but William sits alone and doesn't engage. Jamaika tattles on him repeatedly, but Mrs. McBee replies, "Give him time, honey." When all the jobs are completed, a box is delivered to the class. Out pops William with a fistful of drawings he'd done of all the fun times the class has had together. William has been helping all along. Mrs. McBee clearly is loved by each child in her class, which is evidenced through the text, the soft-hued illustrations, and the happy expressions throughout. The clever cover, with a blackboardlike font, shows a group hug in Room 3, which is echoed satisfyingly at the end of the story. VERDICT A great read-aloud any day but certainly on Teacher Appreciation Day or the last day of school.—Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 04/15/2017 School’s ending and vacation’s about to begin, but room 3’s students aren’t happy upon learning their teacher, Mrs. McBee, isn’t returning. However, when she requests help straightening and packing up the classroom, they enthusiastically pitch in—except William, who sits aside, looking doleful. Soon, the room’s cleared, and Mrs. McBee, seeing students’ dismayed faces, explains, “We’re sad about saying good-bye, but happy about what’s ahead,” including meeting a new teacher next school year. Then William reveals special mementos he made for Mrs. McBee and the class, and the day concludes cheerfully with ice cream outside. The text, while somewhat lengthy, keeps a lively pace, while colorful, cartoonish illustrations depict the diverse kids in a familiar classroom setting with expressive and lighthearted touches. Throughout, Mrs. McBee and her students’ mutual affection shines through. This positive portrayal of a common experience offers a rosy picture of teachers and students, including Mrs. McBee’s gentle reassurances and inclusive approach of appreciating each student and his or her strengths. A great pick for an end-of-the-year storytime. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.