Southwood School

Book Recommendation of the Month

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My New Teacher And Me

Written by Al Yankovic, illustrations by Wes Hargis


"I'll bet every great thinker and leader we've got

Could see all kinds of things other people could not!

So then why get upset if somebody like me

Tries to look at the world a bit differently?"


It's Billy's first day of school and he's just met his new teachers, Mr. Booth, who is unhappy about how dirty Billy is.  Billy's explanation, while marvelously imaginative, does not satisfy Mr. Booth.  As the story continues Billy explains many highly unlikely adventures he has had, and Mr. Booth expresses his dissatisfaction with absurdity of these tales.  Billy points out that just because a story seems unbelievable, that doesn't mean it's impossible.


"Then I cleared my throat and said, "Well, sir, you know....

Just 'cause you don't believe it doesn't mean it's not so!

Just 'cause you can't imagine it, that doesn't mean

That it simply can't be or won't ever be seen."


On the last page, we see Billy in his bedroom, surrounded by toys and drawings that appeared as the interesting and exciting pieces of his imagined stories.  The bed is strewn with books about people like Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, and Martin Luther King, Jr., all of whom had ideas they believed in that most other people thought highly unlikely.


My New Teacher and Me is a great read-aloud.  Wes Hargis' watercolour pictures are full of joy and movement.  The paintings are filled with so many little pieces of the stories Billy tells that it feels like an I Spy book, with listeners calling out, "hey, look at that!"  This story is an all-out celebration of imagination, whether it's just for fun, or the beginning of an idea that could change the world.



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