Late for School

Smitty is never late for school. Not when his shoes get stuck in a sea of thick, black tar. Not when the sky rains snowmen down on the city streets. Not when he uses his coat for a sail to catch a gale and is swallowed up by a whale. Or when he encounters a robot from Mars eating up cars…or a very, very hungry T-Rex!

With rhyming language and a vivid imagination, author Mike Reiss demonstrates that, for some children, getting to school on time can be an adventure. Illustrator Michael Austin’s humorous, exaggerated images colorfully bring to life the mischievous fun of the text.

The surprise ending will delight young readers as they cheer on Smitty and his heroic efforts to beat the school bell.

Age 4-8

  • Teacher guide
  • Crossword puzzle

    “Austin uses an airbrush to create the action-packed naturalistic double-page scenes, which not only illustrate the verses but also add immeasurably to the emotional content. Each picture’s point of view produces a sense of melodrama, while exaggerated events and overstated characters increase the reader responses, including shivers at the huge gorilla and the drooling T. Rex. The New York City setting adds a touch of realism to the wild events.”
    — Children’s Literature
    Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz

    “With photorealistic precision, Austin depicts an exaggeratedly panicked young scholar from a variety of canted and slanted points of view as he runs, flies, sails, and flails his way down city streets, and is last seen, soaked and shoeless, making his excuses to an understandably skeptical-looking teacher.”
    — Kirkus Reviews

    “Austin’s wild and wily airbrushed illustrations make use of electric hues and skewed perspectives; large scale views present the earnest, wide-eyed hero manifesting an array of entertaining facial expressions. A surprise ending–complete with graphic details–wraps up this satisfyingly silly caper.”
    — Publishers Weekly

    “…engaging and fanciful picture book…has everything the preschool and early elementary set could ask for…brilliantly airbrushed illustrations by Michael Austin…books do not get much better than this. ”
    — New York Family