Rosie Sprout’s Time to Shine by Allison Wortche, illustrated by Patrice Barton
Everyone thought that Violet was the best at everything. She could run the fastest, sing the highest, and dress the fanciest. But Rosie did not think that Violet was the best and was tired of hearing about Violet all the time. When their teacher gave them an assignment to plant pea plants and care for them, Violet was sure that hers would be the best. She decorated her pot with lots of sparkles. Rosie’s plant was the first the pop up above the dirt, but Violet announced hers first. So when Rosie came in early the next morning, she pushed soil over the top of Violet’s plant. That day, they learned that Violet had chicken pox and would not be in for several days. So Rosie started to care for both of their plants. Rosie’s teacher told her that she was the best gardener she ever had in her class, as Rosie watered, rotated and sang to both plants.
This book celebrates the quiet child, the one who is not the sparkliest or the loudest. The book speaks to the need for all children to be praised and to be seen as being good at something. Rosie definitely feels left out and jealous of Violet, and those feelings turn into action when she buries Violet’s plant. But at the same time, that is the moment that the book turns around and Rosie starts to shine. Happily, the jealous act is temporary and not the focus of the book. Instead it is a much merrier book because of that.
The art work here has a wonderful softness to it that is very welcoming. There is a freedom to the art as well that is very successful. The lines are soft, the colors blend, and the effect is fresh. The children in the classroom are multicultural, another small touch that makes the story all the more universal.
A great book to share in the spring, when gardens start being planted, or when jealousies grow. Appropriate for ages 4-6.
Reviewed from copy received from Random House Children’s Books.