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A Fine, Fine School

by Sharon Creech
Illustrated by Harry Bliss

Published by HarperCollins, 2001
32 pages
ISBN: 0-06-027736-X

Ages 4 - 8

The classic wisdom that there can be "too much of a good thing" is humorously portrayed in this story of a principal who loves his school. As the book opens, Tillie attends school on a typical five-day-a-week schedule. She spends her free time climbing trees, playing with her dog Beans, and pushing her little brother on the swing. Beans and her brother miss Tillie while she's at school, but her life is in balance. Things start to go awry when the proud principal adds Saturday to the school week, then Sunday, next holidays, and at last, the final straw -- no more summer vacation. Intent on the prospect of unlimited academic opportunities, the principal is blind to the fact that students and teachers alike are on the verge of collapse from his unrelenting schedule. It's up to Tillie to point out the error in his methods, as she outlines the types of learning that aren't taking place: Beans isn't learning to sit, her little brother isn't learning how to swing, and she hasn't learned how to climb very high in a tree. Being the wise man he is, the principal revises the schedule to its original format, allowing him once again to revel in his "fine, fine school!" The comical illustrations are perfectly suited to the story and are filled with additional visual jokes. CCBC categories: Picture Books for Older Children.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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