Phillip Done, author of 32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny, has written another absolutely delightful book called Close Encounters of the Third-Grade Kind: Thoughts on Teacherhood.
[I wanted to say “Phil has Done it again,” but then you’d be saying “Phil Done” (rhymes with fun) instead of Phil Done (rhymes with phone) like I’ve been doing ever since I read his first book.]
Mr. Done-rhymes-with-phone has organized this book into sections for each month. Each month has short sections covering stuff like “Yard Duty” or “The Tooth Fairy.” I opened the book at random while sitting here preparing to write this and tears sprang to my hormonal eyes when I read the section called “The Bell.” He captures the magic and anguish of third-grade.
Despite my occasional weepiness, mostly I read this book with a smile of recognition and remembrance. Mr. Done-rhymes-with-phone brings childhood back to life and makes me wish that I’d had a teacher exactly like him when I was a child. (Although I think Miss Brittingham, my own third-grade teacher was a remarkable human being–she was my favorite elementary school teacher.)
Mr. Done-rhymes-with-phone makes me laugh, makes me cry and makes me remember. It’s pretty much a perfect reading experience if that’s what you like to do: laugh, cry and remember.
Great book for teachers (hello, Christmas is coming), parents and anyone “looking for a lighthearted nostalgic read.” (I stole that last phrase from the back of the book.)
You should know that Mr. Done-rhymes-with-phone himself contacted me and asked me to review this book in my blog. The publisher sent me an “advanced reading copy not for sale” in exchange for my review. You should also know that I really think this is a wonderful book and that I wholeheartedly recommend it. And I’m not just saying that because my copy was free.