Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Trouble in the Barkers' Class by Tomie DePaola

Trouble in the Barkers' Class by Tomie DePaola was a book I previously had never read. An instructor recommended this book to me, and I realized that I had previously read a couple books by this author before but didn't realize this was the author. In this book, a new student arrives to classroom. All of the students anxiously anticipate the arrival of Carole Anne. However, Carole Anne is not what any of the student's expected. She is mean and bossy! She is not nice to anyone, and they begin to wish she was not in their class. They decide they must do something about it. The ignored her when she cut in line, pretended not to hear her when she called them names, and no one would play with Carole Anne. The teacher realizes what they are doing, and tells the students to think about the week. Over the weekend a student ran into Carole Anne and helped her and asked her why she was being so nasty. She explained to the whole class on Monday that she was behaving so badly towards them because she was afraid that was how they would treat her if she didn't do it first. Well, after that, all the students were able to be friends with one another. Happy ending.
I thought this book was pretty good, but I thought it would have had a deeper plot. There was a lot of text on each page, and I think that would benefit older or more advanced readers. Also, the pictures did not show exactly what was happening, so it makes the reader rely on the text. I think that was a good element. I also like the many characters. There was a lot of dialouge in the book between all of the students.
The illustrations were cartoon like and the characters were dogs and rabbits. The illustrations were created with a variety of colors that complimented each other. I liked how on many pages the illustrator had multiple illustrations. I think this added visual interest.
I would recommend this book to others, but it was not my favorite that I have read recently. The other books I have read by this author were better (in my opinion) because they story was more elaborate and less predictable. Although this book promotes a lesson and could happen in real life, I liked the far fetched plot of the other books I have read.

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