Cover image for Robert and the back-to-school special
Robert and the back-to-school special
Seuling, Barbara.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Chicago : Cricket Books, 2002.
Physical Description:
104 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm
The new school year gets off to a not-so-good start when Robert gets a bad haircut, but things improve when his father helps him plan a party for Halloween.
Reading Level:
380 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.6 1.0 68082.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 3.2 3 Quiz: 31323 Guided reading level: M.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Robert's return to third grade isn't as auspicious as he had hoped. When his classmates start laughing at him, he decides it's because of his curly hair, which has grown long over the summer. He convinces his friend Paul to give him a haircut, with disastrous results. Then he begs his brother Charlie to repair the damage, which makes things worse. It doesn't help when Robert decides to wear a baseball cap to school; that just creates new problems! Ever hopeful that things will somehow turn out right, Robert invites all of his friends to a Halloween party, boasting that his father has some great scary tricks. Sure enough, the other kids have a wonderful time being scared, but since Robert knows all of his father's tricks -- or thinks he does -- how can he have the fun of being scared, too? In this fourth book in the best-selling series, Paul Brewer's witty illustrations and Barbara Seuling's sensitive text put their less-than-perfect little hero to the test, in the process capturing the uncertainties and unexpected joys of growing up.

Author Notes

Barbara Seuling was born in Brooklyn, New York on July 22, 1937. Her career in publishing started when she took a job as a secretary to two editors at Dell Publishing. She later became an assistant before leaving Dell in the early 1970s. She worked at Lippincott for two years before deciding to become a freelance writer and illustrator.

Her first picture book, The Teeny Tiny Woman: An Old-English Ghost Story, was published in 1976. She wrote and illustrated several more picture books and also illustrated picture-book texts for other authors. Her other works included the Freaky Facts nonfiction series and Oh No, It's Robert! She also used her publishing experience to lead small private writing workshops. Her adult nonfiction book, How to Write a Children's Book and Get It Published, first released in 1984. She died of complications from cancer on September 12, 2016 at the age of 79.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 2^-4. Near the beginning of this episodic chapter book, a chance remark from a classmate ("You look different") sends Robert into a downward spiral of self-conscious despair. He decides that his hair is too long and asks his brother to cut it, with disastrous results. Readers will empathize with his humiliation the next day at school. As his hair slowly grows, though, Robert enjoys befriending a nursing home resident and throwing a scary Halloween party. The stylized, black-and-white illustrations reflect the tone of the story while providing appealing glimpses of the characters. From the series that began with Oh, No, It's Robert (1999), this pleasant and often amusing book provides good fun for young readers. --Carolyn Phelan

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-4-Another funny story about third-grader Robert Dorfman. On the first day of school, a classmate tells him that he looks different and then some of the girls seem to be laughing at him. He thinks it is because his hair is too long, so he asks his friend Paul to cut it for him. That turns out to be a disaster, and Robert compounds his problem by asking his older brother to "fix" it for him. The protagonist's other adventures concern the class's weekly visit to a Senior Home and a scary Halloween party. This book offers a lot of chuckles. The resolutions to Robert's problems are all within a child's realm, and the dynamics of his family ring true. The soft, black-and-white illustrations are upbeat and appear to give every character an excessive amount of hair. They set just the right mood for the story. Children who are just beginning to read chapter books, and Robert's fans, will enjoy this story.-Elaine Lesh Morgan, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.