Arthur's Teacher Trouble

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Arthur's Teacher Trouble
Author Marc Brown
Illustrator Marc Brown
Country United States
Language English
Series Arthur
Genre Children's literature
Publisher Little, Brown and Company
The Living Books Company
Publication date
Media type Print (Paperback)
Pages 30
ISBN 978-0-87113-091-4
OCLC 13185290
Preceded by Arthur's Tooth
Followed by Arthur's Baby

Arthur's Teacher Trouble is a book in the Arthur series, released in 1986.[1] It was written by Marc Brown and published by Little, Brown and Company and The Living Books Company.[2]


On the first day of school, Arthur and his classmates are given homework by Mr. Ratburn leaving them distraught. Later, the principal, Mr. Haney, announces that there will be a Spellathon in the coming weeks. One day, Mr. Ratburn tells the class to study hard for a test to see who will qualify as representatives for the Spellathon. Eventually, Arthur and The Brain end up being chosen and have been given lists of words to study. On the day of the Spellathon, The representatives of each class are eliminated one by one until Arthur was the only one left. He manages to win the trophy after spelling "Preparation" correctly. In the end, Mr. Ratburn announces to the audience that he will be teaching Kindergarten much to D.W.'s dismay.


Computer game[edit]

Rereleased box cover of the computer game

The book was adapted into a computer game by Living Books in 1992.[3] It was later turned into a computer game in 2012.[4] 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.[5][6] Unlike the television series, which separated the original book into two mini-episodes, the game keeps the story as one.

Television episodes[edit]

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.[3][7][8][9] 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".[10] Matt Jackson of the Children's Literature Association commented that the Living Book software's features gave off the impression that "passivity is bad" and 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.[11]

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".[11] Ann Trousdale also criticized the stereotyping of Ratburn, writing that he "dominates and oppresses his students" and is almost a caricature.[12]


  1. ^ Children's Literature Association Quarterly. 1996. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  2. ^ 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. JSTOR 20204794. 
  3. ^ a b "Forging Ahead or Fit to be Smashed?". Computer Gaming World. April 1993. p. 24. Retrieved 6 July 2014. 
  4. ^ "The Living Books Series Returns as Storybook Apps". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  5. ^ Smith, Geoff. "`Arthur's Teacher' entertains kids". Boston Herald. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "Trying Out Digital Storybooks With a 4-Year-Old, Part 3: Arthur Reads Series". Wired. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  7. ^ "The Horn Book Magazine Volume LXXIII: January–December 1997, p 224" (PDF). Horn Book. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  8. ^ Oldenburg, Don. "Computers; Plugging In For a Fun Read". The Washington Post. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  9. ^ "SCHOOL KIDS CAN RELATE TO THE BELLS AND BOOKS IN `TEACHER TROUBLE'". Deseret News. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  10. ^ Wray, David (2004). Literacy: Major Themes in Education, Volume 4. Routledge. pp. 147–150. ISBN 0415277124. 
  11. ^ a b Jackson, Matt (Spring 1997). "The Troubling Lessons of Arthur's Teacher Trouble: Old Stereotypes in a New Commodity". Children's Literature Association Quarterly. 22 (1): 30–36. doi:10.1353/chq.0.1194. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  12. ^ Trousdale, Ann (Spring 1992). "Why Is This Teacher Smiling? Portrayals of Teachers in Picture Books for Young Children". Feminist Teacher. 6 (3): 25–31.