Synopses & Reviews
The shool year is coming to an end, and everyone at Albert E. Chapman Elementary School is counting down, including Mrs. Mallory's third grade class. In the last weeks of school there is much to be done, from putting away supplies to cleaning out desks to finding a summer home for the class pet, Rhoda. andlt;BRandgt; Now -- andlt;Iandgt;finallyandlt;/Iandgt; -- the last day is here! Matthew Perez, one of Mrs. Mallory's students, has a perfect good-bye gift for his teacher, and he can't wait to give it to her. But when is the right time? Not in the morning when other kids are giving their gifts. Not during the Last Day fun of kickball and ice-cream treats. Will Matt get his chance before the school day is over? andlt;BRandgt; andlt;Iandgt;The last Day of Schoolandlt;/Iandgt; will resonate with all children who know the excitement, energy, and bittersweet emotions that the final days of a school year bring.
"Borden and Gustavson, who have collaborated on several school-themed books, including Good Luck, Mrs. K.!, join forces again to capture the mixed feelings surrounding the last day of school. The story focuses on third grader Matthew Perez (a Cubs fan and the 'Official Timekeeper of Room 6') and the gift he almost doesn't get to give his beloved teacher, Mrs. Mallory, who 'knew her students like a mother hen knows her chicks.' A thorough cataloguing of the final day's bittersweet busyness and the casual mention of several other teachers' and students' names all build a sharp image of the schoolday experience. But at times the drawn-out descriptions ramble and seem superfluous to the central characters (e.g., 'The first graders made Last Day hats and wore them in a spur-of-the-moment parade.... The last day was an ending and a beginning all mixed up together, a day when most of the Chapman teachers looked a bit frazzled'). The oil paintings convey the students' activity and emotions, and Gustavson's use of light and shadow and varied perspectives add to the book's realism. The final four spreads rush readers headlong to the finish, as Matthew races to find his teacher to give her his gift during an emotional goodbye. While the long-windedness of this tale can be a distraction, Borden succeeds in making readers feel a part of the proceedings as the year comes to a close. Ages 7-10." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
This fun storybook will resonate with all children who know the excitement, energy, and bittersweet emotions that the final days of a school year bring.
About the Author
andlt;bandgt;Adam Gustavsonandlt;/bandgt; is a graduate of Rowan University and the Master of Fine Arts Illustration program at the School of Visual Arts in New York. In addition to illustrating picture books, he currently teaches at Passaic County Community College and Seton Hall University. He lives and paints in West Orange, New Jersey, with his wife, their children, several guitars, and a ferret named Gracie.