Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks. ~ Dr. Seuss

Miss Nelson is Missing!

line Miss Nelson is Missing!
by Harry G. Allard (Author), James Marshall (Illustrator)

“Come back!”

Miss Nelson is the nicest teacher in school. She always smiles and speaks in a sweet voice. She speaks nicely even when her students are misbehaving. They misbehave all day every day.. flying paper planes during class, sticking spitballs to the ceiling  and whispering, giggling and making faces!! Finally, Miss Nelson cannot take it anymore. She decides to do something about it.

She goes missing! Just when the kids get ready to celebrate (with more bad behavior!), the substitute teacher Miss Viola Swamp shows up.

Miss Nelson Miss Swamp

And.. she is the exact opposite of Miss Nelson. She is stern, speaks in an very unpleasant voice and dresses up like a witch. She makes the students work hard, gives them lots of homework and even skips story hour!! She tells them – “If you misbehave, you’ll be sorry”. The students miss Miss Nelson. They search for her high and low wondering what could have happened to her. Eventually, Miss Nelson returns and students are ecstatic and decide to stop being rude or silly.

Just when everything is back to normal, someone else goes missing! Its Miss Viola Swap!

Miss Swamp SPOILER: As parents read it, they will quickly realize that Miss Nelson and Miss Viola Swamp are one and the same! But author Harry Allard will baffle young listeners about what happened to “their”  Miss Nelson.

This is such a fun and silly story to read out loud for younger children. One important lesson for kids in this story is to be appreciative of the people around them and not take advantage of their kindness. We had some really interesting conversations with our then preschooler about the missing teacher. Now after a couple of years when we revisited this book, my kindergartner caught up on the story and pointed out that Miss Nelson and Miss Viola Swamp was one and the same.

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books


  1. This was always a favorite read aloud when I taught second grade. It seems that children this age love role model stories. They are learning that reality is not always what it seems to be.

    • Sushmitha

      So true! especially when children look up to their teachers as role model. Playing the teacher is one of DD’s favorite pastimes at home.



  1. Did You Actually Grow Up In The ’80s? | Shared Viral - [...] ✓ The fear that one day you might get a substitute teacher like Miss Viola [...]

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