There’s a time to shine for all of us, but often we sparkle most when our actions are done quietly. There are two lovely ladies at our church who, without being asked, started their own little visitation ministry. Each week they go to visit shut ins, or the sick, taking them a church bulletin, words of encouragement, and share some laughter. This week – they took my mom, who is home-bound a bouquet of carnations. I didn’t even know until Mom told me about it. These ladies are so quiet in their serving – yet everyone in our church has been touched by their love and kindness.
In my PPB pick this week, our little heroine, Rosie, learns that to be noticed sometimes you just need to be quiet and do the right thing.
Author: Allison Wortche
Illustrator: Patrice Barton
Publisher: Alfred A Knopf, 2011
Audience Age: 4 & up
Themes/Topics: Competition, School, Kindness
Opening Sentences: ”Violet was the best – everyone agreed. She ran the fastest in gym class. She sang the highest in choir practice. She was the loudest storyteller at lunchtime. And she looked the fanciest on picture day.”
Synopsis: Rosie is envious of Violet who is ‘best’ at everything. Poor Rosie wants to be best at something, but Violet never gives her a chance. When the entire class gets to grow their own pea plant, Rosie sabotages Violet’s. When class starts the next day, it is announced that Violet is out with the chicken pox. Rosie feels horribly guilty, but finally discovers what she is best at in the process.
Why I like it: Rosie is a normal child. She feels jealousy each time Violet is ‘best’ at something (which is often), and she is not. We’ve all had those feelings at times when we seem to be invisible to others. When reading the story, even my four-year old grandgirl felt sorry for Rosie – but gasped when Rosie was naughty to Violet’s plant. The story resolves itself very gently, without any adult intervention or preaching. Rosie knows what is the right thing to do – but even goes beyond that to make things good. This is a lovely, gentle story about kindness and hard work being more important than being noticed.
The illustrations are by Patrice Barton, who is one of my favorite illustrators. There is a freshness and energy in the classroom drawings. The children are depicted in such natural ways and expressions I think Ms Barton must have drawn them while sitting in an elementary classroom.
Oh – and a side note, a week later after I had already returned this book to the library, my 4 yr old grand asked if we could read ‘Rosie’ again…I guess it made an impression.
(Susanna Leonard Hill is the originator of PPBF and you can find all the other PPB recommendations and links on her blog. Also remember, Susanna is offering an online writing course-see my post from yesterday or go directly to Susanna’s blog.)
Blessings on your day, and enjoy the book.