A picturebook a week: My teacher is a Monster! (No, I am Not)
Bobby’s teacher is a monster and she roars at him constantly while in class. Bobby would much rather be outside in the park where he can forget all about his woes in the classroom. Except that one day, when he reaches his favourite spot in the park, he finds an unwelcome guest: Miss Kirby, his teacher, and she does not seem any more pleased to see him than he is to see her. Will this out-of-school encounter change their minds about each other?
My Teacher is a Monster! is an visually appealing and quirky tale about the stormy relationship between a pupil and his teacher, seen through the eyes of a child. The slow realisation that the teacher might not be as ferocious as she appears is mirrored wonderfully in the artwork by the monster’s features gradually softening, until she becomes human again. Though the story is great at humanising teachers in the eyes of young children, this story also emphasises that it works both ways: misconceptions and false impressions happen on both sides, and teachers can sometimes fail to see past the bad behaviour of a child. The fact that both Bobby and Miss Kirby learn a valuable lesson makes the story all the more heartwarming.
Brown’s distinct style, with its very monster-specific colour palette, emphasises the comical side of the tale, which allows it to remain light-hearted. However, this will nonetheless be a lovely read for those teachers who might find themselves in a similar situation at school, while working as a gentle reminder to little people that teachers are only human, after all.
Source: review copy from publisher