Surprises According to Humphrey

by Betty G. Birney (2008)

Humphrey’s back.

He’s still in Room 26. And he’s still with Mrs. Brisbane. And he still lives with his fellow classroom pet, the frog named Og. And he’s still performing his classroom and family magic – helping students solve their problems, get along better, and improve their family lives. The redoubtable Humphrey is back.

What’s different? There are Surprises aplenty.

Will Mrs. Brisbane retire? Not if Humphrey (and Principal Morales) can help it!

What’s happened to Aldo, the custodian? Who is the new (substitute) custodian? What language is she speaking? Is she really an alien visitor from Mars? (Or the planet Spurling?)

Why are best friends A.J. and Garth fighting? What can Humphrey or Mrs. Brisbane do about it?

How about Mrs. Brisbane’s husband, Bert? Is everything OK at home? Will Humphrey still be able to run mazes and do fun stuff with Bert? And who are the strange new people Bert wants Humphrey to meet?

Can Humphrey handle Surprises? You know he can. Although he mulls and frets these surprises, it’s not too long before he sets into action, conceiving his trademark “Plans” to solve each conundrum in Room 26. Solving misunderstandings is Humphrey’s trademark stock in trade.

Surprises According to Humphrey is laced with all the fun and sprightly delights that make Humphrey books tick: Humphrey’s positive attitude; the quick and realistic interplay in Mrs. Brisbane’s classroom; Humphrey’s self-questioning dialogue with Og; the brisk and playful three-word emphases that reminds readers that reading Humphrey is GREAT-GREAT-GREAT; the gentle real world characters that Humphrey encounters in the school and outside of the classroom… And of course the sound and wholesome lessons that Betty Birney imparts so gently and effectively in Longfellow School.

As always, each Humphrey book also comes complete with its own final page supplement of wisdom you can share all year long, in this case “Humphrey’s Top Ten Good Surprises” – such as ‘#9: Smile when someone least expects it.’

We’re sure Surprises According to Humphrey will inspire your students and families and entire school to smile at each other unexpectedly, too.