Thinking back to my elementary school days, one of my favorite memories circles around show and tell time. Although I never brought in anything out of the ordinary, one girl in my class did.
While the first kids to share held their items for all to see, Jane walked to the front of Mrs. Kelly’s third-grade classroom with a paper bag clutched in her hands. Clearly nervous about her choice of what to share, Jane’s knuckles grew whiter the harder she clenched the rolled up top of that bag, desperate to keep whatever she’d brought from escaping. Or so we believed…
Jane looked long and hard at her bag. Then, she looked at the teacher.
Crinkle, crinkle, crinkle.
Jane unfolded the crimped top and reached her hand into the bag. No one breathed while we waited to see what lurked within.
“This is a freshly cut chicken foot,” Jane said. “My family raises chickens, and I can make this foot move.”
Was she kidding?
When Jane grabbed a dangling tendon and gave it a tug, every squeamish girl in room 305 grossed out as the claw-like foot gripped and released like a grizzled witch’s hand. The boys, however, circled Jane, eager for a turn to make the foot clench next. When Jane went on to tell us how long a chicken can run around without its head, Mrs. Kelly changed the rules of Show and Tell. From that day on, all items brought in to share had to pass her approval.
And this brings me to today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday Review.
Title – Rotten Teeth
Written by- Laura Simms
Illustrated by – David Catrow
Published by- Houghton Mifflin Company – 1998
Topics – Show and Tell, sharing,
Opening – Melissa Hermann was the shortest person in her first-grade class. She was also the only one who hadn’t brought in anything for Show and Tell.
Elaine Estes showed the class a plastic dinosaur footprint. Carmine Appaseed shared his entire glow-in-the-dark sticker collection. Even shy Fern Miller had brought in her baby hamster. It sat in a cage in the room all morning.
But nothing from Melissa’s house seemed special enough.
Synopsis from Amazon – Speaking in front of the class isn’t easy for small people like Melissa Herman. Especially when there’s nothing very special to say about her house or her family or herself. But with the help of her older brother, Melissa borrows a bottle from her father’s dental office to take to show and tell. The teacher is appalled, but the children are intrigued. David Catrow’s hilariously zany illustrations reveal that there is nothing ordinary about Melissa Herman, or her house or her family. The bright artwork is laugh-aloud funny and will have children begging to hear the story again, or maybe invent their very own tale.
Why do I like this book? Right from the start, the reader is intrigued to learn why Melissa hasn’t brought anything for Show and Tell. Is her home that normal? That boring? However, the humorous illustration on the opening page reveals Melissa does not live an ordinary life. This first look at the outside of her house hints that some strange and mysterious oddities lurk within. Maybe Melissa doesn’t think anything would be interesting enough to bring and share, but her big brother does, and boy does Melissa get a reaction from her classmates and teacher! On the entertainment scale for picture books, I give this gem a solid ten.
Hop over to Laura Simms web site HERE.
Learn more about David Catrow HERE.
If you have a fond, funny, or otherwise memorable memory about Show and Tell, I would love to hear about it in the comments.
Until next Friday!