Review Blog

Dec 19 2019

Where else do teachers go at night? by Harriet Cuming

cover image

Illus. by Sophie Norsa. Little Steps Publishing, 2019. ISBN: 9781925839050.
(Age: 5-7) Rhyming Book, Teachers. This is a follow-up to the 2015 publication Where do teachers go at night? It doesn't present anything new but follows the same pattern as the previous book, an add-on rather than an elaboration. 'Shooting the Congo river rapids in Africa, or crescent sailing in Madagascar' are just two of the suggestions of nocturnal teacher activities.
The text reads fairly well aloud, despite a couple of clunky rhymes and a grammatically grating first line ('Skating in Iceland on luminous lake') and the watercolour illustrations are visually engaging and thoughtfully laid out. Disappointingly, the teachers are stereotyped (bespectacled female librarian always with her head in a book, burly male PE teacher with a whistle around his neck, lab-jacketed science teacher with crazy beard and thick glasses). I assume this is to further play on the misconceptions of students but it seems unnecessary. The book ends with the main teacher being wheeled into school by a nurse, looking happy but fairly out of sorts. The children look confused and worried.
As with the first book, this is very tongue-in-cheek and does absolutely nothing to help young kids realise that teachers are actual human beings with lives outside of the school. The worldly adventures that the teachers embark on and the busy and sometimes humourous illustrations are where the fun lies. There is also a frog and a snake to spot on every page.
Nicole Nelson

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