Congratulation, Miss Malarkey by Judy Finchler & Kevin O’Malley

Congratulation, Miss Malarkey by Judy Finchler and Kevin O'Malley
Congratulation, Miss Malarkey by Judy Finchler and Kevin O’Malley

today’s children storybook summary is

Congratulations, Miss Malarkey!

By Judy Finchler & Kevin O’Malley

Illustration by Kevin O’Malley

Storyline: The fifth-grade children from Miss Malarkey’s class are very worried that there’s something going on with their teacher. She seems easily distracted and often she giggles and sings to herself. She even made the school principal, Mr. Wiggins, laugh.

Every fifth grader in the class has an idea about what could make Miss Malarkey act so strange. One says she might have won a lot of money, another, that she will be on TV and yet another, that she may go to Mars. But one kid is not so sure about any of those ideas, he is most worried about a rumor he overheard that Miss Malarkey may quit teaching. She is his favorite teacher. He cannot stop thinking, with distress, about having a strange substitute with green claws and stinky feet. And to make matters worse, Miss Malarkey started teaching them boring things about other countries wedding traditions. While some girls and boys really got into it, most of the other kids thought it was weird.

But the hero of this book, the boy that won’t stop worrying, stayed behind one day and dare to ask Miss Malarkey if the rumor was true. She told him that she’ll reveal her secret the next day, to all the kids in her class.

The next morning the teacher gave each of them an envelope and when they opened it, they were surprise to see an invitation to her wedding. Now, all that strange behavior made sense.

On the day of the wedding his mom made him put on a button-down shirt and his dad made him wear a tie and went to church. There were a lot of teachers and kids from school, and the custodian looked like a millionaire.  They all stood through the wedding ceremony, and he made smart observation about people’s behaviors. But nobody caused any problems, he concluded.

Knowing that Miss Malarkey wasn’t going to quit teaching, it was easier for him to accept a substitute while his favorite teacher was in her honeymoon. The only real change that he needed to get used to was to call her Mrs. Malarkey.

Characters: a fifth grader boy without a name, Miss Malarkey, the teacher, Principal Wiggins, other boys and girls, mom and dad, the custodian.

Illustration: Kevin O’Malley is the illustrator of this book.  His real life like characters are almost coming out of the book pages, that big some of them are. There are little details beyond the basics. The artist is very economical in his depictions, showing just as much as to illustrate the story line. But, the characters feelings and moods are very well sketched.

Recommended Age: 7 to 9 (though the story is about a fifth grade teacher and his class)

Reading Time: 8

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