Tag Archives: Guy Francis

Clark the Shark

13 Aug

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Clark the Shark written by Bruce Hale and illustrated by Guy Francis (2013)

It’s back to school time for Clark the Shark, and he’s super excited. Clark LOVES school. In his own words, ‘SCHOOL IS AWESOME!’ ‘LUNCHTIME IS SWEEEET!’ and ‘RECESS ROCKS!’ The problem is that Clark loves everything way too much. He’s too loud, too wild, and just too much for the other fish to handle. Luckily for him, Clark’s teacher, Mrs. Inkydink is there to help him remember the rules. Clark gets a big idea… ‘Maybe if I make a rhyme, I’ll remember every time!’  So Clark reminds himself with his own rhymes, ‘When teacher’s talking, don’t go walking.’  ‘Only munch your own lunch’ and ‘Easy does it, that’s the way. Then my friends will let me play.’ Clark has learned how to get along with everyone and still have fun. Now it’s time to teach the new kid, Sid the Squid, how to get along.

Bruce Hale has written a series of Clark the Shark books in addition to his other works. He gets into the heart of a young child with loud and sometimes rude antics of a fun-loving fish who just happens to be over-the-top, but who really just wants to be accepted.

Guy Francis takes is deep into the waters of Clark’s world with details of the ocean incorporated into the human-like settings of Clark’s home and school. Reader can immediately identify with the underwater playground, the submarine school bus, the kale salad, and the sea slug ice cream.

My favorite character has to be Mrs. Inkydink. Bruce and Guy must have known that teachers must have eight arms to educate, protect, and handle all their students. I love how Mrs. Inkydink can grade papers, write on the board, and hug her students all at the same time!

In the second book in the series, Clark the Shark Dares to Share,  Bruce Hale and Guy Francis take their readers on another learning adventure for Clark. It’s Show and Share day at school, but Clark doesn’t get the concept of sharing. Sharing is complicated, but Clark finally understands and shares a ‘home-baked krill cake and a great big shark apology’ with his friends.

18090126The next installment in the series is due at the end of this year. Look for Clark the Shark Takes Heart in December, 2014.

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Mrs. McBloom, CLEAN UP Your Classroom!

10 Oct

Image   I was browsing through the library today looking for new picture books, and instead got swept up by a 2005 gem!  I sure wish I had seen this before I retired, it would have been a great book to share with my class.   Author, Kelly DiPucchio has a wonderful flair for imagery and silliness.  And illustrator, Guy Francis takes the story and runs with it!

Mrs. McBloom has been teaching since ‘long before that Armstrong fella set his tootsies on the moon’ and in all that time has never cleaned her classroom.  Whenever anyone complained she simply said it was at the top of her to-do list, right above ‘take a fancy-shmancy cruise’.  But now that it’s time for her to retire she realizes that the job is too big for her.  She gives her students a homework assignment to come up with an idea to get the room clean ‘lickety split’.  The last student to present her idea suggested that if everyone in town came in and picked up just one item the room would be clean.  And since ‘nearly every citizen of Up Yonder had been a student of Mrs. McBloom’s at one time or another’ they all pitched in to help.  The things they found in her room ranged from lost library books and eyeglasses to a postcard signed by President Roosevelt and a flag with forty-eight stars.  Mrs. McBloom got a chance to shake hands with all her former students and she ‘bawled like a baby in wet britches’.  The town had a huge yard sale and with the money they raised, they sent Mrs. McBloom on a ‘fancy-schmancy cruise’.  The story ends with the ‘sweet, young Miss Bumblesprout’ announcing to her class in the ‘spiffed-up tidy’ room that they were going to plant pumpkin seeds.    (Can you see where this is going?)

Now if that synopsis doesn’t make you want to run right out and get a copy, you’re either: a) not a teacher (or ever have been)   b) not a kid (or ever have been)  c) too busy teaching to read a great picture book  or d) all of the above.

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