Book Tour
Book Title:
Dear Substitute
Book Author:
Audrey Vernick, Liz Garton Scanlon
Book Illustrator:
Chris Raschka
Page Count:
Publishing Date:
June 19th, 2018
Date Read:
June 18th, 2019
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!


When a substitute teacher named Miss Pelly comes to class, one student bristles at the change in routine-Miss Pelly doesn't follow the rules like Mrs. Giordano. But in time, our student learns that even though the substitute may do things a little differently, and she may be a bit silly, mixing things up might not be so bad.

Told in a series of epistolary poems, this funny, relatable picturebook is a great fit for classrooms and for any child nervous about new experiences.

My Review

This book is so cute!

Not only are the illustrations charming (look at that cover – it’s the kind of book that features bright colors and gorgeous artwork to really draw you in, and it works so well!), but the prose between the pages is attention grabbing and fun to read.

When the narrator of our book goes into school one day, she is shocked and upset to find that her usual teacher isn’t in school.  Instead, a substitute teacher, Miss Pelly, has taken her place.  Miss Pelly handles everything differently – from having an extra story day to not cleaning out the turtle tank on Tuesdays – and at first, the narrator is quite upset by the change.  However, as Miss Pelly starts to do more, fun things (such as introducing the class to poetry), she finds herself enjoying Miss Pelly’s teaching style and coming to accept that just because things are different doesn’t mean that they have to be bad.

Dear Substitute is told through poetry, often written in verse, and I find that this is a fun way to both introduce your child to poetry as well as explain to them the powerful message within the book’s pages.

This is the kind of book to give to your child when they are ready for school – every child who goes to school has the substitute teacher dilemma, where they don’t feel like they quite mesh with the substitute or are able to really connect with them, since the way they do things is so different from the regular teacher.  This can sometimes cause anxiety in young children, who benefit so much from routines and having daily constantsDear Substitute really works well to show children that even though there might be a substitute teacher in the school, it isn’t a big deal – he or she can be lots of fun, even if the way they handle the classroom activities is unfamiliar.  It can teach children to give other people, activities, and things a chance. 

This is the kind of book that I would read with my kids over and over again, especially if they find they have a subsitute teacher in school or are scheduled to have one and are scared of how it might go.  This book offers a great lesson with eye catching images that will keep kids entertained throughout the story, and then have them asking to read it again!

Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review – Thank you!

Audrey grew up in Whitestone, New York, where she lived with her parents and two sisters and a not very bright small white dog. She has a freaky memory about the names of the kids in her class at P.S. 184Q, and even remembers where most of them stood in size order.

She always loved to read and still rereads Harriet the Spy on a regular basis.  She was not one of those children who always knew she wanted to be a writer; she didn’t love to write until college. She’s been writing ever since.

In addition to writing for children, Audrey has published more than a dozen short stories for adults in magazines and literary journals. She received an mfa from Sarah Lawrence College and has been honored with two fiction fellowships from the New Jersey State Council of the Arts.

Audrey divides her time between writing (which is mostly spent revising) and visiting elementary schools to talk about writing and publishing. (For school visit info, click here.) She also speaks at conferences around the country.

She lives near the ocean in New Jersey with her family and a semi-smart medium-sized dog.

Website   |   Twitter   |   Facebook   |   Goodreads

Liz Garton Scanlon is the author of numerous beloved books for young people, including the highly-acclaimed, Caldecott-honored picture book All the World, illustrated by Marla Frazee, and her debut novel for middle grade readers, The Great Good Summer, as well as The Good-Pie Party; Happy Birthday, Bunny!; Noodle & Lou, and several others. Ms. Scanlon is also a poet, a teacher and a frequent & popular presenter at schools, libraries and conferences. She grew up in Colorado and Wisconsin, and now lives with her husband and two daughters in Austin, Texas.


Website   |   Twitter   |   Goodreads

3 winners will receive a finished copy of DEAR SUBSTITUTE, US Only.


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Week One:
6/18/2018- For the Love of KidLit– Interview
6/19/2018- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review
6/20/2018- Mythical Books– Guest Post
6/21/2018- Book-Keeping– Review
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Week Two:
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