Just Imagine

The Truth about my Unbelievable School

Authored by Davide Cali
Illustrated by Benjamin Chaud
Published by Chronicle Kids

Guided tour of a mysterious and mischievous school!

This is a funny picture book, telling the story about a new girl being shown around her new school by a classmate. The pictures are full of fabulous details about the weird and rather silly school, full of monsters, inventions and surprises. The only downside for me is the Americanisms, such as “recess”, “math” and “principal” but the content more than makes up for it.

I would love to share this story with Years 2-4, although the pages are quite small so pictures would need to be enlarged, as they are too wonderful not to share! I can imagine a number of children then wanting to read it independently after hearing it as a whole class. This is such a fun story that I think it is has the power to switch on   ‘reluctant’ readers to read more. The ending lends itself to some great creative writing or artwork to show what happens next…

Just Imagine comment:

Shenaz raises an interesting point about Americanisms in her review. Certainly there is one member of our team that would agree strongly with this point. What do you think? Children are in constant contact with American English through the medium of film and television. Is it better to retain the original vocabulary, which gives an opportunity for discussion about cultural difference and the way in which the English language has evolved, or would it be better to translate the book into British English for a UK audience, as sometimes happens when books cross the Atlantic (in either direction)? Over to you.