Gracie Graves and the Kids from Room 402

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9780152003210: Gracie Graves and the Kids from Room 402

A collection of humorous verses captures the colorful class of Room 402, from teacher Gracie Graves to such notable students as Sally Spreen the Beauty Queen and Piggy McCall, the boy who always gets hit with the ball.

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From School Library Journal:

Kindergarten-Grade 3?These 29 visual and verbal caricatures in verse convey a sort of smug superiority of adults ridiculing the foibles and weaknesses of youth rather than genuine childlike humor. For the most part, the book lacks any warmth or caring about others and ultimately reinforces low self-esteem in children. Unfortunately, the most appealing of these often-strained verses glorify the worst behavior. There is a nasty tone throughout that accepts Anna May Johnson who "sat in the back./She didn't need a reason to give a kid a whack," while making fun of Ruthie Drew, who stuffs the valentine box with cards for herself, and Molly and Polly McShane, twins of unequal intellect. Ray Tupper tells everyone that his dad was in the CIA, and the kids delight in his embarrassment when they discover the truth. Ms. Graves has no role in the story except the implied one of a noncaring adult. Jack Prelutsky and Shel Silverstein fans will laugh at these characters, but it may well be the kind of empty laughter based on the fear of being the next victim. The children of Room 402 are not laughing at themselves and with those they care about; they are using humor as a weapon. The intended audience seems to be adults, and the attitude toward children is one that demeans rather than respects them.?Kay E. Vandergrift, School of Communication, Information and Library Studies, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

The mother-and-son co-creators of Junior Kroll profile 29 characters in this exhaustive (and sometimes exhausting) portrait of an elementary school class. "Gracie Graves had little silver curls,/ Fourteen boys and fourteen girls," begins the text, while a wayward drawing features a prim schoolteacher seated at a large wooden desk. Individual rhymes about Gracie's 28 pupils follow, and here the Paraskevases round up familiar targets for jokes-a kid who vomits after eating 16 Twinkies at the Halloween party; a boy who brings odiferous lunches; the girl who is a "chubby-plus"; the math whiz whose clothes don't fit. Many poems seem like aborted starts to larger stories; almost every stanza has at least one awkward rhyme ("regret" with "something I et" and "bubble gum" with "gymnasium"); and classroom decorations or reading lists often advertise the Paraskevas' other titles. It's not high art, but the Paraskevases have a handle on grade-school grotesquerie. Perusing their volume is like reading some kooky stranger's yearbook. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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