Synopses & Reviews
Life in an eighteenth-century one-room schoolhouse might be different from today-but like any other pair of siblings, brothers Peter and John Paul get up to plenty of mischief! Readers follow the two as they work with birch-bark paper and hornbooks, play tricks on each other, get in trouble, and celebrate when John Paul learns to read and write.
Verla Kay's trademark short and evocative verse and S. D. Schindler's lively art add humor and character to the classic schoolhouse scenes, and readers will love discovering the differences-and similarities- to their own school days.
"In this duo's third collaboration, following Covered Trails, Bumpy Wagons and Gold Fever, Kay employs her trademark quatrains to showcase school life in colonial times. Two spunky brothers, Peter and John Paul, attend a one-room schoolhouse under the watchful eye of their master, who intervenes in their more ill-behaved antics. The boys tackle geography lessons, spelling bees, psalm recitation, and the tedium of writing practice: 'Feather pen nib,/ Sharpen tip./ Paper curling./ Ink pen, dip.' From birch-bark paper and neck yokes in the classroom to clay marbles and wooden stilts at recess, readers glean much from the spare, rhyming verses and Schindler's detailed watercolor and gouache scenes. Resembling those in his Tricking the Tallyman, about the same era, the paintings engage with touches of humor and expressive faces. Every few pages, a delicate nature motif in a partial border announces the change of season, e.g., large snowflakes hover above a spread showing students ice-skating on the school pond in winter. The small trim size and succinct verse of this history lesson shouldn't deceive; there's a store of information packed within. Ages 4 8. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Verla Kay, pictured below, has written numerous acclaimed historical picture books. She lives in Tekoa, Washington.
S. D. Schindler is the illustrator of numerous picture books, including Home on the Range and The Story of Salt. He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.