Creature Teacher is the third book in the Goosebumps Series 2000 book series. It was published in 1998, and was followed-up 16 years later with Creature Teacher: The Final Exam, the sixth book in the Goosebumps Most Wanted series.
The cover illustration shows Mrs. Maaargh at her desk, roaring at the reader.
When Paul Perez was little, he believed in monsters and would always have nightmares about them. He eventually got over his fears, and became a joker to help him get over them. One day his jokes go too far when he brings his parrot to school, and it starts insulting the teacher. He tries to make her laugh to win her over, as always tries to make people laugh, but it fails. Upon hearing he is having trouble in school, Paul's overachieving parents pull some strings, and get him accepted into a boarding school called The Caring Academy.
Paul arrives at the school, and sees that it is scary looking on the outside, but bright on the inside. He meets the dean of students, and is then introduces to two girls named Celeste and Molly. They pull him aside and tell him to get out, before it's too late. He first assumes they are just pulling a prank on him. They arrive at classroom 333, where Paul is told there is an upcoming talent show and all students must have a unique talent. He starts goofing off when the teach, Mrs. Maaargh enters.
Mrs. Maaargh licks Paul and declares he is tasty, and revealing that she is a disgusting monster. She tells him about the Food Chain, a list of all the students. The student who is at the bottom after the talent show will be eaten by her. Paul still thinks this is all one big joke on the new kid. He makes a bad impression on her when he accidently steps on her feet, and is taken down too spots on the chain.
During lunch, Paul makes friends with a pudgy kid named Marv. He explains that this is Mrs. Maaargh's first year at the school. Celeste comes over, pulls Paul away, and reveals that Marv is Mrs. Maaargh's son. Worried that Marv will tell her about some bad things he said about her, he goes over to apologize to her. He sees Mrs. Maaargh biting a mouse's head off, and this makes him realize she really is a monster. He tries to call his parents, but the phones don't work.
He talks to Molly, Celeste and Brad, who says they have tried to escape a dozen times, and have failed. They have tried telling the other staff at the school, but no one believes them. He runs to visit the headmistress but discover that it is Mrs. Maaargh herself. She came her to be the new headmistress but she loved to be near the students, so she took on both jobs. She warns him to do better, but she doubts he will.
After Paul leaves, Marv appears but he runs away. He meets up with his friends, who say they reject Marv due to being Mrs. Maaargh's son, although Celeste defends Marv, saying he is just lonely. The subject goes back to the talent show, as Paul still doesn't have a talent. Molly suggests balloon animals, which he could make while he tells jokes. The next day, auditions are held. Brad opens his violin case to discover that an awful smell starts pouring out of it. Mrs. Maaargh deduces that it is skunk scent, taken from the science lab. Both he and Molly were doing violin, and only one could enter the show with that talent. With his ruined, he must pick a new talent, and he is placed at the bottom of the food chain.
Paul goes on next, but his balloons don't inflate because someone poked a hole in them. As a result, he is put at the bottom of the chain. Molly immediately suspects Marv and Paul agrees. His suspicions are confirmed when he finds fudge in his room, as Marv offered some to him earlier. The other suggest Paul do an extra credit project to get higher on the chain.
Molly recommends making a model of a molecule. Over the next few days, he stays up late to build one, hoping Mrs. Maaargh likes it. However, when he gives it to her one morning, it has been vandalized to say YOU UGLY. For this, Paul is taken off the chart all together. Paul decides that he has to try to escape. He sneaks out during class later on, and discovers a way out he can use later. The next morning, he leaves but Molly appears. She warns him that there is an invisible electric face, and informs him his parents are here.
He meets up with them, as they say Mrs. Maaargh invited them over to talk about how he has been struggling. Paul begs them to take him home, but they refuse. He tells them Maaargh is a monster, but they don't believe him, even after he points out her gross feet, as she claims they are just swollen. She says she saw him trying to escape, and warns them he may get lost if he tries again. Paul assumes this is to cover her tracks when she eats him.
A few days later, Paul gets a note from Mrs. Maaargh telling him to come to the auditorium for the talent show. He does but it is mostly empty, with Molly revealing the show has been cancelled. She leaves and Mrs. Maaargh enters, dragging him down a trapdoor to eat him. She takes him to a furnace room, planning to throw him in as she doesn't eat food raw. He manages to escape and bumps into Molly.
She reveals that she was the one who has been sabotaging Paul and Brad this whole time. She had previously tried to escape and got put at the bottom of the chain, so she had been trying to someone knocked lower. She knows it all wrong to do, but she felt like she had no choice. The guilt ate at her, so she came here to rescue Paul. They leave but get separated, as Mrs. Maaargh continues to chase him.
He bumps into Marv, who turns out was just trying to be his friend, as Paul was the only one to be nice to him. He tells him that the only way to stop Mrs. Maaargh is to make her laugh. She rarely does and when it happens, she hibernates for six months. She approaches him and he struggles to find a way to make her laugh. Suddenly, he gets an idea.
He starts tickling her feet and this works, making her laugh so hard she passes out. Paul thanks Marv for saving his life. Marv says there is only one problem, all this excitement has made him hungry. Paul asks if he's joking.
- in France, this is the forty-ninth book in the original series.
- The cover of this book shows a noticeably altered version of Tim Jacobus's artwork. On Tim Jacobus's original painting for this book, the ceiling was pink; the final cover replaces the pink ceiling with a blue-to-black gradient. Additionally, Mrs. Maaargh's torso, head and her desk were scaled up to appear closer to the viewer.
- This is the first Goosebumps book to begin with a prologue.
- According, to Stine, the prologue was include because he thought it would set up what was about to happen and make readers curious.
- This book references Clark Kent, Tommy Hilfiger, The Gap, Beethoven, Doc Martens, The Sound of Music, Bach, Hamlet, and Nerf.
- There is no preview for this book in the previous book, Bride of the Living Dummy.
References in other Goosebumps media
- The book's manuscript appears on Stine's bookshelf in the Goosebumps film. Additionally, Mrs. Maaargh is mentioned in Slappy's Revenge.
- Mrs. Maaargh appears in Goosebumps HorrorTown.
|Goosebumps Series 2000 series|
|#01 Cry of the Cat||#10 Headless Halloween||#18 Horrors of the Black Ring|
|#02 Bride of the Living Dummy||#11 Attack of the Graveyard Ghouls||#19 Return to Ghost Camp|
|#03 Creature Teacher||#12 Brain Juice||#20 Be Afraid — Be Very Afraid!|
|#04 Invasion of the Body Squeezers: Part 1||#13 Return to HorrorLand||#21 The Haunted Car|
|#05 Invasion of the Body Squeezers: Part 2||#14 Jekyll and Heidi||#22 Full Moon Fever|
|#06 I Am Your Evil Twin||#15 Scream School||#23 Slappy's Nightmare|
|#07 Revenge R Us||#16 The Mummy Walks||#24 Earth Geeks Must Go!|
|#08 Fright Camp||#17 The Werewolf in the Living Room||#25 Ghost in the Mirror|
|#09 Are You Terrified Yet?|