January 2011 Issue
December 21, 2010

Check it out: The Teacher Who Would Not Retire Discovers a New Planet

Source: NYSUT United

By Sheila and Letty Sustrin

Illustrated by Thomas H. Bone III

Recommended by: Susan Peterson, Twin Pines Elementary school librarian, Brentwood TA.

Suitable for: K-2

Why I chose this book: Mrs. Belle, the main character, discovers a new planet. The president invites Mrs. Belle to go to space school so she can join the space team. Excitement mounts as she prepares for the space expedition. The illustrations are clear and bright.

How teachers can use this book: It's perfect for launching a unit on the solar system. The book includes a letter from a teacher who participated in summer space camp. The letter and the book are rich with science vocabulary. The story also could prompt students to create and write about their own planet, complete with scientific properties.

What I liked best: Mrs. Belle is a feisty character with genuine regard for her students, just as she is in The Teacher Who Would Not Retire and The Teacher Who Would Not Retire Goes to Camp. She is warm, funny and intelligent, and is true to form right down to her wardrobe of ballet slippers.

Editor's Note: The authors, both retired members of Brentwood TA, are identical twins who taught elementary school for 38 years.