Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary
Author: Al Yankovic
Illustrator: Wes Hargis
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
It’s Billy’s first day of school and he is excited to meet his new teacher, but is his teacher excited to meet Billy? His teacher, Mr. Booth, seems to dislike Billy from the start and reprimands him for wearing a dirty shirt. Billy tries to explain that he was digging a hole to China when he discover a dinosaur skull and he hadn’t had time to wash up without being late to school. Mr. Booth thinks his story is “highly unlikely” so Billy sets to show him that the best things in life often are! As he tells stories of two-headed cows, trips to the moon and incredible vacations his classmates are awed, but Mr. Booth is unconvinced. Finally, he sends Billy to the principle’s office, but as he goes Mr. Booth sees a picture of a two-headed cow fall out of his backpack forcing him to reconsider Billy’s stories.
This book is very entertaining and creative. The clever voice and rhyme of the book are lighthearted and fun. The pencil and watercolor illustrations add color (pun intended) to the story and fun details like gophers on the moon and Mr. Booth’s hundreds of rules. The story points out that imagination and vision are necessary for “every great thinker and leader”. There is value to imagination and we should encourage our children to be creative. Who knows? Maybe your child actually will make a transmogrifier.