book review: a fine, fine school

I realized that I have my lovely, lengthy Favorite Read-Aloud Books  page yet I have not offered any book reviews of any of them. I will remedy that ever so slowly, one by one...

So, here starts my first Book Review and I thought I may as well begin at the top of the list:
A Fine, Fine School by Sharon Creech. Recommended for ages 4ish-8ish.

This book seemed just right to begin with because many of us right now are on some sort of holiday where we don't attend and/or teach school for weeks/months.

The funny (deep breath!) idea from Sharon Creech is that Principle Mr. Keene is so proud of his students and teachers, that he starts to add more days to come to school!
"This is such a fine, fine school! I love this school! Let's have more school!"
What if YOUR school was open on weekends, in the summer and every holiday, too! Oh, my, what if we really did that?
Fortunately, this story also has a girl named Tillie who does love school, yet also loves her little brother - who doesn't go to school yet - and her dog, Beans.

Tillie loves being at home on the weekend to climb her favorite tree, and to take Beans on his walks, and to push her brother on the swing and to try to teach him how to skip.

As school becomes MORE and MORE, Tillie gets to do LESS and LESS with her family and her dog. By the end of the story, Tillie has a heart to heart with Mr. Keene and things - just maybe - turn out as they should. 

Things I love about reading this book with children:
  • Illustrations by Harry Bliss are humorous and colorful and detailed - children find so many quirky bits on every page.
  • Repetition of language ... "let's have more school!" ... offers call & response with students
  • Opens discussion about school AND family time
  • Open discussion about when something is "good" should we just have More and More of it?

**Play for children - and adults and pets - is a huge, invaluable part of a healthy life. The content of so many blogs for early education SHOWS us that this IS absolutely true.
For play and exploration and active ideas, please check out these inspirational bloggers

Cheers to good books that remind us that school is important yet FAMILY and PLAY and NATURE are vital in our daily lives.


  1. Thanks for introducing me to this book - I look forward to checking it out. My 4 year old has started kindy this year and her dream would be to be go every day. I'm sure this will wear off in time, though!

  2. @Emily - hope your 4yo continues to love school! Thanks for the comments about A Fine, Fine School - it is a humorous book that surely she (and you) will enjoy! cheers to reading.


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