Book du Jour:HORNBOOKS AND INKWELLS by Verla Kay, illustrated by S.D. Schindler (Putnam)
A trip to an 18th-century one-room schoolhouse in a book, through the magic of terse verse and good-humored pictures! How about wearing neck yokes for punishment, or ice-skating at recess, or bathroom in the outhouse? Yeesh, makes young 'uns today look rather milquetoast. The terse verse is brought to life through the good-humored, detailed drawings, fittingly fettered with straight lines. Let's write "we love Schindler's mannered illustrations" 100 times, in our best handwriting. A perfect preface for another historical schoolroom story, Avi's THE SECRET SCHOOL, in which a fourteen-year old girl in 1925 gets to work behind the teacher's desk, or Laura Ingall's Wilder's amazing depiction of 19th century school life in LITTLE TOWN ON THE PRAIRIE. You tell your readers, "When I was a kid, I had to walk two miles uphill in a snowstorm to get to school to read these books, and you get to take the bus to the library!" That'll learn 'im. (8 and up)
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