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A Fine, Fine School Paperback – December 23, 2003


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (December 23, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060007281
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060007287
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 9 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

On weekends, redheaded Tillie climbs trees and teaches her little brother how to skip. During the week, of course, she goes to school. Her principal, Mr. Keene, is the kind of gung ho leader any school would be lucky to have. That is, until he goes a little over the top. "Oh!" he says. "Aren't these fine children? Aren't these fine teachers? Isn't this a fine, fine school?" And then this exuberant administrator decides five days isn't nearly enough for such a fine school. "From now on, let's have school on Saturdays, too!" The teachers and students are not thrilled, but no one is willing to burst Mr. Keene's bubble. Soon their well-meaning principal has done away with weekends, holidays, and summer vacation. It's time for someone to take action... gently, though. Young Tillie has just the right amount of subtlety and tact--and motivation--for the job.

Sharon Creech is the bestselling author of many fine, fine books for kids and teens, including the Newbery Medal-winning Walk Two Moons, and a Newbery Honor Book, The Wanderer. Wonderfully clever touches by the illustrator, award-winning New Yorker cartoonist and cover artist Harry Bliss, include signs in the cafeteria ("Why not study while you chew?") and the priceless expressions on students' and teachers' faces as Principal Keene announces yet another plan to increase school daze. Wonderful! (Ages 6 to 10) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Given current battles over standardized testing and summer sessions, this timely story about extended schooling touches a nerve with a kindly delivery. The tale centers on Mr. Keene, a good-intentioned but zealous principal, and Tillie, a studious girl who spends free time teaching her little brother to skip and climb trees. When strolling the school hallways, Mr. Keene beams, "Aren't these fine students? Aren't these fine teachers? Isn't this a fine, fine school?" He so adores education that he schedules classes for weekends, then holidays, then summers, too. Tillie's low-key home life is transformed. She checks her watch and lugs a giant briefcase off to class, despite her lonely brother's imploring looks. Meanwhile, Mr. Keene exclaims, "How much we will learn!" He doesn't notice the gasps and grimaces of his stressed-out students and teachers. Creech (Love That Dog) styles the principal as proud of his scholars and staff, but shows how his drastic measures diminish quality of life. New Yorker cartoonist Bliss, in an impressive debut, foregrounds the core drama between Tillie and the principal, yet also develops secondary characters among Tillie's overwhelmed classmates (toting books called Really Hard Math and The Meaning of Life) and her precocious dog, Beans (calmly enjoying the "Arts and Leisure" section); comic thought balloons, clever book titles and expressive faces contribute to the tale's success. In the end, Tillie politely convinces Mr. Keene that he has been unreasonable. With quiet intensity, Creech and Bliss persuasively argue one side of a volatile issue. Ages 4-8.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Sharon Creech is the author of the Newbery Medal winner Walk Two Moons and the Newbery Honor Book The Wanderer. Her other work includes the novels Hate That Cat, The Castle Corona, Replay, Heartbeat, Granny Torrelli Makes Soup, Ruby Holler, Love That Dog, Bloomability, Absolutely Normal Chaos, Chasing Redbird, and Pleasing the Ghost, as well as three picture books: A Fine, Fine School; Fishing in the Air; and Who's That Baby? Ms. Creech and her husband live in upstate New York.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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The illustrations beautifully complement the text.
My Two Cents
I am a teacher, and this book is a cute book to read at the end of the school year.
Sarah E. Andolina
Highly recommend this book to share with kids ages 5 to 8!
Cathy M. Watson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By K. Hart on October 22, 2001
Format: Hardcover
An exuberent principal at a small school is the crucial element of this hilarious book. The principal, in awe of the schools "fine-fineness" decides to have school on Saturdays..then on Sundays as well. Soon there is school on all holidays, vacations and breaks. School hours are extended, lunchtimes/recess is shortened. But the students have no time to spend with family. What will they do? With hilarious illustrations, and a humorous plot, this book yields to deep belly laughs by both kids and adults. If you have a child between the ages of 6 and 16, I strongly reccomend that this book be on your shelves. It reminds you that it could ALWAYS get worse!
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Roz Levine on August 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Tillie is a little red haired girl who lives with her parents, brother and dog, Bean. She goes to school every day and learns about math and reading and all sorts of important things. But on weekends, she spends her time at home, learning to climb the big tree in her yard, teaching her brother to skip and her dog to fetch. Mr Keene is a principal who loves his school. He's so proud of the students and teachers and all the good work they do. "Aren't these fine children? Aren't these fine teachers? Isn't this a fine, fine school?" In fact he's so excited about his school and all the fine, fine learning that goes on there that he decides the kids and teachers should have more school and adds Saturday to their week. No one wanted to go to school on Saturdays, but they didn't want to disappoint Mr Keene since he was so proud of them. Pretty soon, Mr Keene added Sundays and then holidays. No one was happy, but they went along. When he really went over the top and added summers too, Tillie decided to pay him a little visit..... Award winning author, Sharon Creech, has written a delightful story that will tickle the funny bone of all youngsters getting ready to go back to school. Her gentle, humorous text is only outdone by Harry Bliss' very clever and expressive artwork and children will enjoy all the special little details they find as they pore over the illustrations (marvelous facial expressions, posted notes, book titles, school banners...) Perfect for youngsters 4-8, A Fine, Fine School is a treasure and a wonderful addition to all home bookshelves.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on August 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Author Sharon Creech uses simple sentences in bold type to make this children's picturebook all the more emphatic, while the iconic artwork adds warmth and humor to the story. An overzealous principal feels that he runs such a "fine, fine school" that classes should extend to weekends, holidays, summer, and night... putting the overworked schoolchildren in a bind. It's up to Tille to show her well-intentioned principal that there are other places for a young person to be that are just as important. A Fine, Fine School is a spry and funny book that makes for lively reading.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Chris Bowen on March 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
Every time I read this book, I can't help but think of the testing frenzy our educational system is in today. The well-meaning principal of a "fine, fine, school" drums up ways that the school can be better and more successful. So? They start attending school on weekends. And then holidays. And on and on, until finally no one has any time for anything other than school. As a resource teacher, I have read this book to teaching staffs to get ready for the testing season. It effectively points out the absurdities of our current system and reminds us of the fact that our job is not to churn out single-minded drones, but rather to help build fully realized human beings. It's very easy to lose sight of that when you begin to gauge all that you do on a single test in the spring. Simply put, all our eggs are in one basket...and maybe not best basket, either. Kids and adults will love the story line as well as all the smaller jokes found in the illustrations.

Chris Bowen
Author of, "Our Kids: Building Relationships in the Classroom"
(search the book....check it out)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Landon Taylor on September 23, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book was recently read to me at a teachers' conference. The real message in the story is that learning doesn't only happen in school--it happens everywhere! What a wake up call to parents and guardians!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By just my opinion ; ) on July 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love his book and story - I teach second grade and I love to introduce this text in the beginning of the year when the kids are so excited about school and how everything is new! I bring it back again when we talk about the problem in a fiction story and how adding details make a story more interesting to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Harper Lee on June 15, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book as part of a year end gift for my son's teacher, and I'm glad I did. The pictures are cute, the story is even cuter. What a fun way for to celebrate the end of the school year and transition into summer break. A Fine, Fine book and the perfect addition to any preschool-early elementary classroom!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andrea R. Herbster on March 3, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I teach some professional development classes for my local union. One of the books we used in one of the classes is this very amusing book. The teachers in the class enjoyed it very much.
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