We survived school picture day this week! All three kids got onto the school bus in clean, relatively wrinkle-free, decent clothing. Nobody fell in the mud, ripping his pants and muddying his hands while running for the bus like last year. Nobody broke eyeglasses the morning of the picture this year. My daughter did get off the afternoon bus grumbling, "Why did I have to bother wearing a skirt? I stood in the second row." Apparently skirts hinder her monkey bar fun at recess. It occurred to me that school picture day is a rich mine of conflict and comedy. Surprisingly few children's book authors go there. With kids' obsession with missing teeth, parents' obsession with looks and good hair days, and the struggle over wardrobe in many households, there's a lot to write about. Our family has enjoyed Barbara Park's Junie B. Jones Has A Monster Under Her Bed in which Junie B. cleverly places her bad school picture under her bed to frighten away the monster she fears lives under there. So many of the Junie B. books ingeniously deal with school situations that can be stressful for kids.David Shannon's picture book David Gets in Trouble doesn't go into much detail about picture day but includes one fantastic two page spread illustration of young David's class picture. David is the one crossing his eyes and making a goofy face along with the words, "I couldn't help it!" This is a book that always makes us giggle, but hopefully won't give my youngest any ideas! Three other picture books/easy readers I found on the topic are
Class Picture Day by Andrea Buckless
Mrs. Toggle's Class Picture Day by Robin Pulver (deals with the teacher's bad hair day)
School Picture Day by Lynn Plourde
In case you are wondering, I am in the middle row, second student from the left in the picture above.