No More Pencils, No More Books, No More Teacher's Dirty Looks

Written and illustrated by Diane deGroat
HarperCollins 2006
ISBN 0060791144
Ages 4 - 8

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It's the last day of school! Gilbert is excited about summer vacation, but first there's the class party, and Mrs. Byrd will give out the end-of-year awards. But will Gilbert even get one? Patty's the best speller. Philip's the best reader. What is Gilbert best at? Humorous and reassuring, this story by Diane deGroat perfectly captures the bittersweet emotions of the last day of school. As Gilbert's class says good-by to Mrs, Byrd, she reminds each of them how special they really are. And she will miss them very, very much!


Kirkus Reviews Gilbert and his friends return to delight their fans in this look at their last day of school. The normal classroom routine is replaced by cleaning desks, reminiscing about the year and practicing the poems and songs they will recite for their parents that afternoon. Recess is spent speculating as to who will win which awards, Gilbert is especially worried about this, as he cannot think of anything that he is better at than his classmates. But all works out in the end, and a little ice cream after the final school bell cheers up all the students. And looking out the window, Gilbert is heartened to learn that even Mrs. Byrd loves summer vacation‹she bicycles past the shop wearing Gilbert's gift. DeGroat perfectly portrays the essence of the last day of school, from the strange surroundings of a classroom stripped of all decorations, to the mixed emotions of students and teachers alike. Her classic illustrations capture body language and facial expressions to a T. A wonderful celebration of the end of a school year, ideal for preparing kindergartners.

ALA Booklist In this ninth installment in the popular Gilbert and Friends series, opossum Gilbert and his classmates (assorted animals in children's clothing) look forward to graduating from first grade. Gilbert is anxious about the award ceremony - he wonders if he has a talent worthy of recognition. Eventhough Lewis, the class funny man, informs him that everyone gets an award, Gilbert isn't convinced. The Gilbert saves the day during a tense moment at the ceremony, which proves that he is, indeed, deserving of the award he eventually receives. Although this entry may not be as tension-filled as some of the other titles in the series, the bright, cheery watercolor illustration, with their sizeable cast of lovable, expressive characters, will draw youngsters into Gilbert's comfortable small-town suburban environment. Gilbert's fans will look forward to more first-grade adventures with the opossum, or perhaps, follow a more mature Gilbert as he and his friends continue their escapades in second grade.

School Library Journal It's the last day of first grade, and Gilbert, a winsome opossum, is filled with conflicting emotions. He's excited about summer vacation, but he's going to miss his teacher, Mrs. Byrd. What's more, he's not sure he will receive an award because he's not sure what he's best at. At time passes in a flurry of last day activities (cleaning out desks, etc.), Gilbert works through his feelings and bids farewell to first grade. He does, of course, receive an award, and the school year ends on a positive note. The color cartoon illustrations are filled with detail and charm. This picture book effectively captures both the excitement and sadness that many children feel at the end of the school year, and it makes for a good discussion starter.