Every class has a reputation, and the incoming fourth graders of Aesop Elementary School have been described as “precocious,” “robust,” or “just plain naughty.” In fact, their infamous reputation made it hard to hire a new fourth grade teacher until Mr. Jupiter applied for the job. With a varied resume that includes dog groomer, Bigfoot translator, and dodo bird expedition leader, Mr. Jupiter seems ready for any challenge his students might bring. And, in fact, Mr. Jupiter has no problems keeping the class in line. As the school year proceeds, each chapter presents a classroom situation which culminates with an Aesopian moral. When Calvin Tallywong is stumped by multiplication facts, he wishes he were back in kindergarten, where the going was easy. Summoned to the kindergarten classroom as a student helper, he’s quickly disenchanted by the reality of five year olds’ behavior and discovers to “be careful what you wish for—it might come true.” In a variant of “the boy who cried wolf,” a student raises a false alarm about the approach of the martinet lunchroom monitor, enjoying the short-term attention he receives. His fellow students soon disregard his warnings and he learns the hard way that “liars are not believed even when they tell the truth.” This riotous and clever twist on traditional Aesop tales is laugh-out-loud funny from the first page to the last. (Ages 8–11)
CCBC Choices 2008. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2008. Used with permission.
Here's a chapter book of contemporary fables about a rambunctious group of fourth graders and their amazing teacher-the globe-trotting, Mayan-ceremonial-robe-wearing Mr. Jupiter-that is sure to delight students and teachers alike. There's Calvin Tallywong, who wants to go back to kindergarten. But when he actually gets the chance, he's forced to do the squirrel dance and wear a school bus name tag. The moral of his story? Be careful what you wish for. Then there's Amisha Spelwadi, who can spell wildebeest, no problem. When Mr. Jupiter asks the class to spell cat, all Amisha can come up with is kat. The moral: Don't count your chickens before they hatch. Kids will laugh out loud as they learn tried-and-true lessons in this funny, fast-paced book. And don't miss the class's continued adventures in The Fabled Fifth Graders of Aesop Elementary School by Candace Fleming.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.