by Bonny Becker
Knopf, 2009. 104 pgs. Intermediate
A sort of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle of the classroom, Ms. Plum works her wonders by asking her students to retrieve items from that most mysterious of places "The Teacher's Closet." Eric, whose bad habit is finishing everyone else's sentences, gets a real live parrot out of the closet, who shrieks out everything he is thinking before he has a chance to say it. The little girl who always sees everything in a rosy light thinks the alligator that comes out of the closet with her is a poodle. Children who are shy or frightened find a comforting kitten or caretaker squirrels, each to his or her need. The magical Ms. Plum, who whispers to her closet at the end of each year that "this was surely the best class ever," stands in for teachers everywhere who work wonders day by day, with or without "magic."