The team of Audrey Vernick, Liz Garton Scanlon and Chris Raschka probably had a substitute teacher or two during their school days. However, I wonder if they were as unsure of them as the narrator is of their substitute teacher in Dear Substitute.
Finding out that their teacher is out unexpectantly (why did Mrs. Giordano not warn them?) all sorts of feelings pop up for one student. After all, Miss Pelly changes their routines, cannot pronounce some of the student’s names, she reads new books (even if they are funny poems that the narrator had never thought they would like) and not sharing lunches is the first rule the substitute seems to enforce. But in funny, relatable poems, the narrator finds out that having a substitute teacher is okay after all and their old teacher should not worry. Since, sometimes out routines need to be shook up.
Fantastically bright, fun and delightfully perfectly detailed illustrations pepper the book. They, like all good art, help tell the story and help create other parts not in the text. They are signature Raschka all the way.
Any child who might have some nerves about doing something new could read this and enjoy. After all, it is hard to know when a substitute teacher could come to teach the classroom. However, it is also just fun poems that you could read to your classroom. This way the child is prepared without it becoming a larger issue. Quirky, realistic and fun this is a great new book to add to your library or collection.