Recalcitrant pupil, Bobby has problems at school – problems with his teacher, so he thinks. Thus she’s a monster. But of course it all depends whose perspective one takes. Bobby goes to the park to forget his problems.
Miss Kirby has problems with “Robert’’, thrower of paper aeroplanes. She goes to the park to relax with her book.
Then, one Saturday the two find themselves face to face in that park, Bobby’s territory, so he thought. (There is a wonderful wordless spread showing how they feel about this.) He reluctantly sits beside her and a conversation ensues. However, it’s a flyaway hat (given to Miss Kirby by her granny) that causes both Bobby and teacher to start seeing each other differently. She even goes so far as to encourage Bobby to make one of his paper planes and launch it. It flies magnificently. The two part harmoniously.
Back at school, is Miss Kirby still a monster? Well, that all depends…
Brown has used a limited colour palette: shades of green, brown, tan, aqua and salmon for his illustrations that, we are told, were made with Indian ink, watercolour, gouache and pencil, then digitally composited and arranged. These are entirely appropriate to portray the morphing Miss Kirby (the colours brighten as her mood lifts and vice versa) and the slightly subversive, tongue-in-cheek humour of the story, much of the text being in speech bubbles.