Cover image for Jamaica and the substitute teacher
Jamaica and the substitute teacher
Havill, Juanita.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston, Mass. : Houghton Mifflin, 1999.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 21 x 24 cm
Jamaica copies from a friend during a spelling test because she wants a perfect paper, but her substitute teacher Mrs. Duval helps her understand that she does not have to be perfect to be special.
Reading Level:
AD 380 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.6 0.5 31124.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.2 2 Quiz: 18585 Guided reading level: K.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
J PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Jamaica likes the substitute teacher right away. Mrs. Duval is very nice, and she thinks of interesting things for the class to do. When the kids have to hunt for a hidden object, it's Jamaica who solves the clues. She figures out all the answers to the math puzzles, and Mrs. Duval praises her reading, too. But when it's time for the spelling test, Jamaica realizes that she is not prepared. Wanting so badly to please Mrs. Duval, she makes a poor decision. What will Mrs. Duval think of her now? In this new story about a favorite character, Juanita Havill and Anne Sibley O'Brien depict a small but significant crisis with tact and sensitivity.

Author Notes

Juanita Havill is the author of many picture books including several stories about Jamaica. She and her husband have two grown children. Anne Sibley O'Brien has illustrated more than twenty books for children, including the Jamaica stories. She has two grown children and lives with her husband and cat in Maine.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-8. The latest touching picture book about Jamaica and her friend Brianna dramatizes a situation many children will relate to. Jamaica wants to impress the new substitute teacher, Mrs. Duval, and they get on just fine, until the spelling test when Jamaica copies a word from Brianna's paper. Overcome with guilt, Jamaica can't do anything, even in her favorite art class, until she owns up to the teacher, who assures Jamaica that "you don't have to be perfect to be special in my class." O'Brien's full-page watercolor-and-pastel illustrations create the lively classroom setting with remarkable depth, moving from overviews of the kids at work to close-ups of Jamaica alone at her desk and then, finally, face-to-face with the smiling bespectacled teacher "with her hundred braids." --Hazel Rochman

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-Jamaica and her classmates have a substitute teacher for the week. Mrs. Duval is warm, encouraging, and fun, and the children are eager to please her. When it's time for the spelling test, Jamaica realizes that she's forgotten to study and copies from a friend. Troubled, she confesses to Mrs. Duval, who reassures her that she doesn't have to be perfect to be special in her class. The full-color artwork depicts a modern classroom with a diverse student body. O'Brien focuses her attention and detail on the two main characters, bringing them visually to the front of the illustrations. A delightful story with a gentle message.-Alice DiNizo, Plainfield Public Schools, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.