Sick Day Jitters
Julie Danneberg, author
Julie Danneberg is the author of John Muir Wrestles a Waterfall, Monet Paints a Day, and Family Reminders, as well as the best-selling Jitters Series. She is a retired middle-school teacher.
Read more about Julie.
Judy Love, illustrator
Judy Love is a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design and has illustrated numerous children's books, including First Day Jitters and Last Day Blues by Julie Danneberg. She lives near Charlotte, North Carolina, with her family.
Read more about Judy.
- Coming soon!
In this newest installment in Danneberg’s series following Mrs. Hartwell’s elementary school class, other staff members must step in when Mrs. H is ill.
It’s a teacher’s worst nightmare—feeling awful, you call in sick, relying on your emergency sub plans to get your class through the day…but the substitute fails to show! Various staffers fill in for the beloved teacher, but none quite fill her shoes, as her students point out in messages sent over the Homeroom Hub. The gym teacher starts the day with loud music and exercise instead of having the kids do their morning jobs, and the math teacher fails to read a Junie B. Jones book aloud with multiple character voices. Alternating or facing pages show that Mrs. Hartwell isn’t getting the kids’ messages. Instead, she’s taking care of herself and gradually starting to feel better, many of her activities matching the things going on in the class (they watch a penguin documentary; she watches dog and cat videos). When Mrs. Hartwell finally looks at her messages, she has 126, and she knows just what to do with her class the next day. Details in the watercolor, dye, and India ink illustrations will keep readers poring over them; the children’s facial expressions are an especial delight. Mrs. Hartwell has light skin; students and other staff are diverse.
A lighthearted look at an increasingly common scenario.
Sweet and funny, with subtle details tucked into its intricate watercolor illustrations for parents and older readers to appreciate, this picture book about a chaotic school day shows the bond between students and teachers. When Mrs. Hartwell calls in sick and the substitute teacher doesn’t show up, her fellow faculty members pick up the slack—to mixed reviews from the students, which they enthusiastically share with Mrs. Hartwell in the “Homeroom Hub” application throughout the day.
We have all been there before. You wake up in the morning and your head is pounding, your nose is stuffy and your body aches. That’s right, you caught a dreaded virus. This is exactly the situation Mrs. Hartwell finds herself in in the latest Jitters series book by Danneberg. Mrs. Hartwell has to make the tough, but responsible decision to stay home from her teaching job. Unfortunately, the substitute does not show, and Mrs. Hartwell’s students are sure to let her know. Throughout the day, Mrs. Hartwell receives messages on her homeroom hub website from her students which contain updates about who is stepping in to cover the class and what is happening while she is away. Love, the illustrator, cleverly shows a parallel of the events taking place at school that mimics what is happening at Mrs. Hartwell house. The illustrations are vibrant, detailed, and realistic which serves to enhance the story. As the day continues on, Mrs. Hartwell is starting to feel better and by the end of the day she logs onto her laptop to see over one hundred messages left by her students. Not only do we see that the students have clearly missed their teacher while she was absent, but her school staff community has also pitched in to serve her students while she was out. The book provides a clear message about the importance of school community pitching in and helping others while also highlighting diversity amongst the school staff and students. For example, the author subtly displays this diversity through the student updates to their teacher with the use of courtesy titles, including Mrs., Mr. and Mx., to name a few. The book is full of universal themes that everybody can relate to which make this book easily accessible and good addition to a classroom library.
Page count: 32
8 x 10