From School Library Journal
Gr 1-3–Miss Doover's class is learning about thank-you letters, so Jack writes to Great-Aunt Gertie, who has given him personalized stationery. Small panels opposite his second draft show uses for her gift and introduce his dog. Besides correcting his spelling, Jack's teacher shows him how to expand the letter and revise it to spare his relative's feelings (“It's not my favorite gift, but I have used it a lot”). Several carefully worded drafts conceal–as the clever pictures do not–Puddly's accident, soaked up by pages of Jack's writing paper. Pulver successfully gets into the minds of both Jack (“But Mom said she hopes Great-Aunt Gertie never finds out how I used it!”) and Miss Doover (“Aaaaaaaargh!”) through speech and thought bubbles. In a last thank-you letter–this one to his teacher–Jack realizes why her name is Miss Doover. Using colored pencils and acrylic paint, Sisson crafts a series of panels and spreads intermingled with multiple thank-you letters on notebook paper. With its succession of teachable moments, this is a fine, funny writing lesson.Mary Jean Smith, Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN
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Write a thank-you letter? Piece of cake, right? Or so Jack thinks until his teacher, Miss Doover, introduces him to the dreaded word revise, not to mention other words, like implore, express, and accomplish. Implore as he might, poor Jack has to write draft after draft, trying to express his thanks to Great-Aunt Gertie for her gift of stationery (another word his classmates learn)—a gift that he and his new puppy, Puddly, find useful in unexpected ways. Will he ever accomplish his task? Cue the suspense! Pulver’s cheerful and often funny instructions on letter writing take the edge off learning, ably assisted by Sisson’s mixed-media, cartoonlike illustrations, which capture and expand the wit of the story. Pulver saves the funniest line for the last, which gets to the bottom of the teacher’s curious last name. Grades 1-3. --Michael Cart