"My Teacher" by James Ransome brought tears to my eyes. That's because I am a teacher. And I hope that I'm the kind of teacher portrayed in this lovely picture book. Like the teacher in the story, I work in a school where kids don't come from wealthy families and don't take fancy vacations; and their families may not always have a mom and a dad.
The story is simple, but the writing is not. There's poetry in the pages of this story. Why does the teacher keep working in their school, when "She could teach across town, where the sun always shines."
The teacher brings in a library for the kids. She encourages them to love music, reading and writing. She helps them talk about their families and how each family can be different.
And even though it is obvious from the story that the school is one where the students come from needy homes, they collect food before Thanksgiving to give to those who need it. When the young narrator realizes that a friend is one of the recipients of the largesse, she says, "I'm glad we could help Nola's family with our donation."
It is almost guaranteed that any teacher with a heart will have a tear in his or her eye by the end of the book.
Read the whole review at: http://www.examiner.com/review/my-teacher-by-james-ransome-a-picture-book-tribute-to-teachers-everywhere