Arthur's Teacher Trouble
|Arthur's Teacher Trouble|
Little, Brown and Co. Cover
|Publisher||Atlantic Monthly Press|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
|Preceded by||Arthur's Tooth|
|Followed by||Arthur's Baby|
Arthur starts a new year with Mr. Ratburn, and is given heaps of homework because Mr. Ratburn is very strict, D. W is ecstatic because she has not started school yet, and she knows that next year, she won't get any homework because the kindergarten teacher is nice. The principal announces the annual September Spellathon, and not long after Mr. Ratburn announces a spelling test to determine which two students will represent his class at the spellathon. Everybody studies, and Arthur and Brain get all twenty words right, and enter into the spellathon. On the night of the spellathon, Arthur is very nervous. Brain is first, and spells 'fear' "F-E-R-E", Prunella falls out not long after, spelling 'preparation' "P-R-E-P-E-R-A-T-I-O-N". Arthur spells preparation correctly and wins the spellathon. At the end of the spellathon, Mr. Ratburn announces that he has loved teaching third grade, but that he is looking forward to a new challenge next year, teaching kindergarten. At this announcement, D.W. faints.
The book was adapted into a computer game by Living Books in 1993, and later turned into an app in 2012. It is the first of five Arthur books to be adapted into a computer game, and the second game released from the Living Books series. Unlike the television series, which separated the original book into two mini-episodes, the game keeps the story as one.
The title was also adapted into two television episodes in the Arthur TV Series. They were titled as "Arthur and the Real Mr. Ratburn" and "Arthur's Spelling Trubble." The episodes aired together, on September 9, 1996. VHS releases of "Arthur and the Real Mr. Ratburn" change the title card to "Arthur's Teacher Trouble" to reference the original book.
Initial critical reception for the book was mostly positive, with the Living Books adaptation being particularly praised. Later critical reviews expressed concern over the media effects of the book, with David Wray stating in Literacy: Major Themes in Education that much of the effects were "incongruent to the story". Matt Jackson of the Children's Literature Association commented that the Living Book software's features gave off the impression that "passivity is bad" questioned the product's packaging phrasing of "Children don't just read them. They live them.", in that it inferred that books were inferior to CD-Roms.
Jackson also criticized the book's usage of stereotypes, such as Arthur's teacher Mr. Ratburn being a "stereotypical male teacher—a mean disciplinarian, a student's worst fear". Ann Trousdale also criticized the stereotyping of Ratburn, writing that he "dominates and oppresses his students" and almost a caricature.
- Children's Literature Association Quarterly. 1996. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
- Brown, Kathleen J. (December 1999). "What Kind of Text: For Whom and When? Textual Scaffolding for Beginning Readers". The Reading Teacher 53 (4): 292–307. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
- "The Living Books Series Returns as Storybook Apps". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
- Smith, Geoff. "`Arthur's Teacher' entertains kids". Boston Herald. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
- "Trying Out Digital Storybooks With a 4-Year-Old, Part 3: Arthur Reads Series". Wired. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
- "The Horn Book Magazine Volume LXXIII: January–December 1997, p 224". Horn Book. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
- Oldenburg, Don. "Computers; Plugging In For a Fun Read". The Washington Post. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
- "SCHOOL KIDS CAN RELATE TO THE BELLS AND BOOKS IN `TEACHER TROUBLE'". Deseret News. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
- Wray, David (2004). Literacy: Major Themes in Education, Volume 4. Routledge. pp. 147–150. ISBN 0415277124.
- Jackson, Matt (Spring). "The Troubling Lessons of Arthur's Teacher Trouble: Old Stereotypes in a New Commodity". Children's Literature Association Quarterly 22 (1,): 30–36. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
- Trousdale, Ann (Spring 1992). "Why Is This Teacher Smiling? Portrayals of Teachers in Picture Books for Young Children". Feminist Teacher 6 (3): 25–31.