April Fool! Watch Out at School!

Written and illustrated by Diane deGroat
HarperCollins 2009
ISBN 9780061430428
Ages 4 - 8

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It's April Fools' Day, and Gilbert is looking forward to playing tricks on his friends. Unfortunately he's the one getting tricked by everyone else, including Mrs. Byrd! But the worse prankster is Lewis the bully. In the end Gilbert outwits Lewis with the best trick of all. Diane deGroat's delightful story and fun-filled illustrations will enchant readers of all ages, especially when they discover the surprises in many of the illustrations. The reader is getting April Fooled too!

From Booklist Gilbert looks forward to tricking his classmates on April Fools' Day, but instead he falls for all their pranks, while every gag he attempts is a dud. Tired of being the butt of Lewis' jokes, Gilbert turns the tables by outsmarting him in a game of psychological warfare. Children will find it easy to sympathize with gullible yet sometimes cagey Gilbert, appearing here in the twelfth volume of the Gilbert and Friends series. And they'll enjoy the colorful illustrations for the many sight gags that go unmentioned in the text. A good picture book to share on this particular holiday.

From School Library Journal: Gilbert and his friends are back and ready to celebrate April Fool's Day. The book is filled with the tomfoolery that tickles children's funny bones: warnings of untied shoelaces, plastic spiders, and gummy worms in apples. The trouble begins when Lewis, Gilbert's nemesis, finds a ready target for his pranks in the bespectacled protagonist. He enjoys taunting Gilbert and plays a more mean-spirited trick than the others by placing an "I smell" sign on Gilbert's back on their way to lunch in the cafeteria. Gilbert is able to pay back Lewis by making him stew the entire afternoon waiting for a trick to be played on him. As the school day ends, Gilbert tells Lewis "Gotcha" and reveals there was no trick at all. The cartoon illustrations abound with visual tricks that observant viewers are sure to notice. DeGroat continues to show that she has a keen sense of classroom dynamics and the ability to connect with readers and their world. A popular choice for seasonal read-alouds.