Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Audrey Vernick
Illustrator: Matthew Cordell
Publisher: Clarion Books
The boy in this story has been a lot of things (hungry, bored, and wet), but the worst of all those things is when he knows he will have to become a first grade dropout. He has done something so embarrassing that he cannot go back to school. He tries to come up with ways to avoid going to school, like casting a spell to undo what he did or building a time machine to go back before it happened, so that he doesn’t have to face his classmates knowing that he called his teacher “mommy”. He’ll miss being around his friends, but he knows he can’t go back. However, at soccer practices, he and his friend realize that everyone makes mistakes and it is okay to laugh when embarrassing things happen.
Although sometimes the vocabulary and thought process might be a little advanced for first graders, most first graders will be able to identify with something embarrassing happening to them and feeling like they need to drop out of school so that they don’t have to deal with people laughing at them. Kids will enjoy laughing at the story and the funny pictures and side comments, and adults can talk to kids about how it is possible to laugh about things that are embarrassing for them.