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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Being retired now for a number of years, and having learned that it is (despite wishful thinking on the part of many) quite possible to play too much golf, I began a part time career as a substitute teacher.

I was at one time, also difficult for some to believe, a school boy myself. I felt that these facts concerning my life made me very well qualified to read and review this work. Also, when you combine these past experiences with the fact that I read a lot of books to a lot of children, and have for years, I pretty well have a good idea of what a child likes in the way of literature; especially at the age this book is targeted for. I feel you can trust me on this one folks...the kids are going to love it.

I must say that I was delighted with this latest offering from Chris Gall. Through his prose, rhyme and art he has nailed the relationship between child and teacher perfectly, and done it in a very entertaining way.

It would seem that Ms. Jenkins, the regular teacher, had to take a day away from her class and so a substitute teacher was brought in for her. The kids (who are a well rounded group to typical young scamps) are excited and delighted with the opportunity to practice their disruptive skills on yet another victim. As they are rehearsing for their day to come, the class room door slowly creaks open....the substitute teacher enters...very green with green warts, seven tentacle shaped legs, one eye in front, three in the back of his head and green pudgy hands. (The teachers light brown suit and red bow-tie went quite well with the creatures skin color though; I will say that). This was most certainly NOT your typical substitute teacher, but indeed, a "Substitute Creacher!"

After introducing himself amongst much commotion, our creature teacher makes an announcement:


For forty-nine years
I've visited schools.
I've collected some tales
whose lessons are grave
about boys and girls
who didn't behave.
They'll give you the goose bumps.
They'll shiver your skin.
Now pay strict attention:
It's time we begin!"

The creature then begins a series of tales of what happened to kids that simply would not behave while in school and what the consequences were. These of course are rather silly tales with silly outcomes but as the creature tells story after story the children begin to sober. By the final story the sub has the complete attention of the children and, as a matter of fact, has their complete sympathy and a room full of very well behaved children.

But that is not all. The story continues and follows the creature out to door when school is dismissed, and we find that......

Well, no spoilers here folks, but you really need to read this work as the ending is quite unique and rather unexpected.

The author has used two rather nicely done techniques in the telling of this tale. The story is told in simple language in the form of lines and captions on the bottom or top of the page. Yet at the same time, everything the creature tells the children is written in a very nicely done rhyme and comes in the form of green blobs; slime green balloons as you would find in comic books. The contrast here is very eye catching and adds greatly to the telling of this is quite catchy.

The art is bold and goes from bright to dark and is quite detailed; these pictures absolutely pop from the page, and go perfectly with the text.

Some of the predicaments the kids who are misbehaving find themselves are quite funny and each outcome of a bad decision is quite just...the punishment most certainly fits the crime here.

This is a fun read and will most certainly grab and hold a child's attention. This will make a wonderful group read and should most certainly be in every class room, ore on the shelf of every child's library for that matter. I predict that we will be seeing this book around for a lot of years to come.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks
88 comments| 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 8, 2012
We didn't think about getting her the book before he came, so, she could have it autographed by, once she met him, she wanted the books!
she enjoys it quite a bit...(we ordered a couple) and even though she's only about to finish kindergarten, she can
read it on her own and loves it...
Great book! with a very nice message.
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on July 21, 2012
I love this book. I got it intended for my 3 year old from the library. She was so-so about it but my almost 2 year old son loved it! He would listen to it every night and sit perfectly still. He loved the vivid images. My daughter, I think, would like it more if she understood the story a little bit better. I think it's just a little over her head or maybe just a little confusing for her. She did like the images and the Substitute Creacher. In a few more months she may like it more. I ordered it for my son. It's part of his nightly rotation! Very fun book!
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on April 10, 2015
I am a substitute teacher. I first read this book, left by the teacher, for a class a couple of years ago and then purchased it myself. I occasionally read it to classes that I go to and the kids really like it. Unexpected story line about a frazzled teacher who invites a special substitute with some unique life experiences to hopefully straighten out her class.
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on May 26, 2013
I read this to 2nd grade class and they enjoyed it. I personally wasn't crazy about it. I thought that story didn't flow well, but all those seven and eight years old were enjoying, giggling, and guessing what was going to happen at the end.
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on May 23, 2016
Transitioning from daycare teacher to public school substitute was completely nerve racking for me... At the beginning of my journey, Substute Creacher was there to help immediately draw attention and ease the awkwardness in the room. Great experience for both, the kids and me. Monthssss later, I still keep it on hand. Perfect pair to Miss Nelson is Missing 😉
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on March 22, 2012
Bought this for my grandchildren ages 4, 5.5, and 6.5....they love it as do I. Clever fun reading. Sometimes books such as these are a bit too far out but this book stays the course. The pictures are also a delight and fun to look at carefully. The play on words is a great learning tool for the children.
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on April 4, 2012
My 6 year old son loves this book and so do I! I first got the book when my son was 5 and his sisters were 7 and 8. All loved it. The story is clever with a little mystery. The illustrations are fun. Well done!
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on September 17, 2013
My daughter couldn't wait to read this book. Once we did, it was not a disappointment. After we were done she screamed, "that was s-o-o-o cool!" A terrific complement coming from a four year-old. She has continued to read the book at home, at grandma's, while driving...pretty much everywhere. As a parent I liked the story because it showed a great example of consequences of our actions. Chris is once a horrible little boy who doesn't do good and one day he becomes the way he acts. It's also shows how we make up for wrong deeds, by serving and making up for what we did. Overall a terrific book! --Daddy's Girls Book Reviews
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on June 13, 2014
Perfect for substitute teachers! I use it all the time. It's a fun and entertaining that tells students to behave.
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