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The Eric Carle Museum
of Picture Book Art
  • 125 West Bay Road
  • Amherst, MA 01002

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  • Thursday, Friday10 am-3 pm
  • Saturday 10am – 4 pm
  • Sunday 12 pm - 4 pm

Closed Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday

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Picture Books We Love

Kid Lit Teacher Shout-Out

Teachers are the headliners of many great children’s books but there are so many excellent teachers hiding in the background of stories that don’t always get the acclaim they deserve. The Carle Bookshop staff has come up with a few to share. Can you think of any picture book teachers that could use a shout-out? Add your favorite children’s literature characters who teach to the comments below!

Cover of Matilda girl sits on box with a book open in her hands and many books surrounding.

Matilda by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake

Allie says:

I think of Miss Jennifer Honey from Matilda whenever I drive by a small cottage surrounded by flowers, recall my multiplication tables, or have to spell the word “difficulty”. Miss Honey knew her students faced their own difficulties outside of her classroom, at home and at the hands of Miss Trunchbull. She is a prime example of a teacher who leads with kindness, and makes sure each of her students feels supported and successful. 

Cover of the book The Art of Miss Chew. A teacher and a student wearing brightly colored painting smocks smile at each other with arms outstretched.

The Art of Miss Chew by Patricia Polacco

Sara says:

Patricia Polacco has a number of wonderful books about teachers and their important presence in our lives. Miss Chew is one of my favorites because she reminds me of my high school art teacher and the multi-faceted instruction she gave us. Art teachers show us how to see the world and Miss Chew is amazing at showing how art lessons are actually lessons on being in the world and how to see what is truly around and within you.

Cover of Ms. Bixby?s Last Day shows three boys peering through the window of an orange door

Ms. Bixby's Last Day by John David Anderson

Ariel says:

Ms. Bixby is the teacher everyone wants or needs in their life; kind, funny, and devoted to making a difference in the lives of her students. Three very different boys decide to give Ms. Bixby the ultimate surprise- the perfect day she once described to them in class- when they learn that she is in the hospital near the end of the year. Ms. Bixby is the kind of teacher to inspire her students to do great things for themselves and others. 

Cover image of Drum Dream Girl shows girl sitting on an island cliff, looking at a drum on the crescent moon.

Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Rafael López

Eliza says:

Even though it’s forbidden on the island for girls to be drummers, one girl still dreams of playing drums. After being constantly rejected, she finds a drum teacher who recognizes her talent and is able to see past the island’s gender rules. He takes her under his wing, giving her the skills and encouragement she needs to become the first island’s female drummer and inspiring others to follow in her path. Teachers like this are needed to find the dreamers being held back and to break conventions if necessary, to help them follow those dreams. 

A brown-skinned girl steps into classroom, looking hopeful, holding a purple book with swirls blooming from its pages

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael López

Allie says:

Some students entering a classroom for the first time have feelings of otherness, thinking no one else in the room is quite like them. But if they have a classmate, or a teacher, to validate and celebrate their identity, it can make all the difference. Rigoberto, a student recently immigrated from Venezuela, is supported by an unnamed teacher who stops his classmates from mocking his accent and pronounces his name and country with all the right, bright notes. Teachers have the power to empower their students by celebrating their differences.

Cover of We Don?t Eat Our Classmates shows a T-Rex in pink overalls with a drool covered child?s shoe hanging out of her mouth.

We Don't Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins

Sara says:

Shoutout to the teacher in this book, Mrs. Noodleman! Although this story is about Penelope the T-Rex and her hilarious lessons in appropriate snacking, the title is the teacher’s pronouncement and her rules set the arc of the story. Mrs. Noodleman demonstrates patience, firm boundaries and good humor throughout the story, the perfect example of a teacher’s specialized individual etiquette instruction!

Cover of Lilly?s Purple Plastic Purse shows white mouse dancing with purse

Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes

Allie says:

Even after Lily’s teacher Mr. Slinger asks her to wait till recess, she can’t help but interrupt class again to show off her new purple plastic purse. Mr. Slinger confiscates the purse until the end of the day, but leaves a note inside for his student: “Today was a difficult day. Tomorrow will be better.” Mr. Slinger and teachers like him show us empathy, how to grow from our mistakes, and even inspire their students to someday become teachers themselves.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

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