From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2—Mrs. Ruler is an unusual teacher: she often talks in rhymes, she wears a ruler in her tall hairdo, and she disciplines children by having them perform acts of kindness. When students ask to participate, she turns her assignment into a class project, and they eventually complete 100 acts of family, school, and community kindness (all listed at book's end). Unfortunately, this story does not measure up to Cuyler's usual high standards, and Mrs. Ruler's singsong speech is annoying. Furthermore, the text often seems preachy. For example, the teacher offers wisdom such as, "A slice of nice makes a mile of smile" and "Good deeds fill needs." The plot is a bit contrived: just when David, a reluctant participant, is looking for good deeds to perform in order to catch up with everyone else, he is presented with an opportunity to rescue the class gerbils. Done in bright hues that reflect the tale's upbeat tone, the cartoon illustrations are playful and inviting. They feature an endearing group of students from different ethnic backgrounds. An additional purchase that may fill a need in some libraries.—Barbara Katz, Parish Episcopal School, Dallas, TX
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Mrs. Ruler is frustrated with her kindergarten class. They have been acting out all week, so she reminds them "kindness is cooler" and charges each student to perform five acts of kindness. Most of the class catches on quickly; only David seems to have trouble internalizing Mrs. Ruler's maxim that "a slice of nice makes a mile of smile." Eventually, even David finds a way to be good, rescuing the class's gerbils during a harrowing escape. The author of 100th Day Worries (2000) incorporates here the same enthusiasm, counting practice, and humor she used in the earlier title. Especially useful is an appended list of the 100 acts of kindness, which will get kids started and fuel their own ideas. Yoshikawa's vibrant illustrations capture the boundless energies of five-year-olds on their best (and worst) behavior. Although sophisticated listeners may find Mrs. Ruler a bit preachy, most children will enjoy the story, and teachers will find the lesson aptly told. Recommended wherever values education is taught. Weisman, Kay Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved