From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 4--Bright, splashy watercolors grace the pages of this rhyming story about an author's visit to a school. The students' preparations, such as decorating the room and thinking of questions to ask, are described and depicted as they get ready to welcome Amanda Drake. The faces of the diverse children are individualistic and expressive, exhibiting a variety of moods and thoughts. The spreads pull readers through the action and reflect the movement and excitement of the characters. As the story ends, youngsters learn that Amanda Drake has taken a student's idea and written this very book about a school visit. Bunting presents a wonderful display of the kinds of things that can happen when good educators, interested students, and talented writers connect. Bloom uses bright colors to create a realistic and inviting setting, paying great attention to details including the teacher's desk and science projects displayed throughout the room. Just as Amanda Drake inspires the children to use their imaginations and write stories, this delightful book will encourage readers to explore their own creativity.--Erlene Bishop Killeen, Fox Prairie Elementary School, Stoughton, WI
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*Starred Review* K-Gr. 3. Writers are often advised to write about what they know, but few could turn the humdrum routine of a school visit into such an engaging picture book. In rhyming couplets, a boy tells how his class prepares for author Amanda Drake's arrival: reading her books, decorating the room, making lemonade, baking a cake, and discussing what questions to ask (and not to ask). The writer appears, makes a terrific impression, and motivates the children to write their own stories later. Meanwhile, the narrator has made a suggestion to Miss Drake that inspires her next book, My Special Day at Third Street School
. The circular nature of this clever revelation will please children as much as the naturally cadenced text and cheerful artwork. Just as Bunting's writing captures the action and the children's emotions in a convincing way, Bloom's gouache, colored pencil, and crayon artwork illustrates the contemporary classroom setting and the children's body language to perfection. An upbeat choice for reading aloud before author visits, though Amanda Drake will be a tough act to follow. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved