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The Bad-news Report Card Hardcover – September 22, 2006
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From School Library Journal
Grade 1-3–Isabel Bloom is ferociously eager for her parents to receive only the best possible news about her school performance. As her teacher explains the common report-card words (excellent, satisfactory, needs improvement, etc.), Isabel pictures her parents jumping for joy. But her overconfidence turns to dismay as she imagines what her teacher might say, and by the time the sealed evaluations are ready to be sent home, the frightened child makes a drastic and desperate decision. Poydar weaves an entertaining, suspenseful, and ultimately affecting tale. Her illustrations are straightforward and colorful, and are particularly successful in communicating childrens emotions. The story underscores the tensions inherent in the evaluation system. Adults may want to think carefully about their own feelings regarding report cards before sharing this tale. It might, on the other hand, be an excellent discussion-starter. Isabel is a character whos easy to relate to and root for.–Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The day after teacher Mrs. Bean explains "report card words" to her class, Isabel goes into a tizzy worrying about the bad news her report card might contain. That afternoon she stuffs the unexamined report card behind her seat on the school bus, and the next morning she "loses" a note from her parents wondering about the card in the same fashion. When she finally reads her report card, she discovers that her fears were unfounded. Isabel makes a likable character, and her concerns will strike a chord with the many children who face report card days with anxiety. The only ones disappointed, perhaps, given the book's title, will be children whose report cards really do deliver bad news. Expressive and sometimes humorous gouache-and-pencil illustrations give this brightly colored picture book a cheerful look. Another entertaining school story from the author-illustrator of such picture books as Last Day, Hooray! (2003) and Rhyme Time Valentine (2002). Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved