Storytime Saturday a weekly blog feature showcasing any new books we’ve been reading with Erin, reviewing picture books and talking about our monthly library haul! Basically, Storytime Saturday is all about books! This week is all about The New Teacher by Dominique Demers and is reviewed by the husband!
The New Teacher, originally a French novel, was published in English by Alma Books this year.
The book is written by Dominique Demers and beautifully illustrated by Tony Ross.
The New Teacher is the first in a series, called ‘Mademoiselle Charlotte’, the English series being called ‘The Adventures of Miss Charlotte’.
The New Teacher tells the story of a class of children who are assigned a substitute teacher when their normal teacher goes on maternity leave. It is told through the first person perspective of a girl in the class. However, you never learn her name. The new teacher, Miss Charlotte, is noticeably odd and the class even suspects she could be an alien!
She is very old and very thin and dresses a bit like a witch, except that her hat is round, not pointed. Miss Charlotte talks to a pebble she carries around with her and is just very, very odd. After the first day the whole class agrees that she is quite mad.
As the story progresses though you realise that Miss Charlotte is exactly what the class needs. Her unorthodox style is actually very effective. She manages to get the best out every member of the class and also makes school seem fun. She even manages to get them to stop having fights, which had happened frequently before Miss Charlotte arrived.
The New Teacher is really funny throughout. I laughed out loud a couple of times, especially as the headteacher tries to find out what Miss Charlotte is up to. It actually turns quite touching when the truth about Miss Charlotte is revealed and the headteacher tries to have her fired. The class, in particular our protagonist, really steps up to save their teacher.
The illustrations really add to the enjoyment as you read. They are very reminiscent of Quentin Blake.
All in all this is a quick, clean and fun read for children but adults can enjoy it too. Highly recommended.