today’s children storybook summary is
Adapted from a story by Elizabeth Ballard
Illustration by Miriam de Rosier
Storyline: This is a very emotional story about a special bond between a teacher, that has a change of heart, and a student who grows up to think of her as his own family.
Miss Jean Thompson meet Teddy Stallard at the beginning of the school year in her fifth grade class. Teddy didn’t seem interested in learning, he didn’t participate in activities, hardly spoke, his hair was unkempt and his clothes were musty. Miss Thompson, the teacher, didn’t like him much. But Miss Jean Thompson knew better then to take things as they appear to be, so she looked up Teddy’s records from the previous school years. That’s how she found out that, starting as a promising first grader, Teddy’s grades and focus went down, as his mother got ill and died, and his father lost interest in the boy.
At Christmas, the children passed beautiful wrapped presents for their teacher. Teddy’s gift was packed in a piece of brown paper and held up with tape. Inside was a “gaudy rhinestone bracelet, with half of the stones missing” and a bottle of cheap perfume. The kids laughed at Teddy’s gift but the teacher put on the bracelet and a dash of perfume and praised the gift, which, she found out at the end of the day, was Teddy’s mother’s. He had thought that it would look great on Miss Thompson. That was the moment when the teacher decided to pay a little more attention to boys and girls that seem a little too slow to learn. All through the year, with patience and a little extra effort, she helped Teddy catch up and even get ahead of other kids.
Long time passed before Miss Thompson heard from Teddy again. In a letter, he told her he was graduating second one in his class. Four more years down the road, another letter came. This time Teddy was finishing college first in his class. Four years later he was done with his master degree and getting married. He invited her to his wedding to sit where his mother would have sat if she were alive, because, with his father dead, she was the only family he had left. Miss Thompson went to the wedding and was happy she had changed her heart about Teddy when he was a fifth grader. She had helped him become the person he was today.
Characters: Miss Jean Thompson, Teddy Stallard
Illustration: Miriam de Rosier is the illustrator of this little book. Each page has a side of text, and a side of painting. In simple strokes, de Rosier brings to life the characters of this book: the teacher – a young woman with blond hair and a shy smile; the mother, a soft person; the boy, Teddy, that we watch growing up; and Teddy’s wife. Her illustration has a feeling of plenitude that is given by the generosity with which the scenes are created: big patterns, bold color, ample lines.
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