Rosie Sprout’s Time to Shine by Allison Wortche

In Rosie Sprout’s class there is one person who is the best at EVERYTHING. And it isn’t Rosie. It is Violet. Rosie gets sick of how Violet is always the best, and worst of all she is always telling everyone how she is the best. So when they plant pea plants and put their pots in the back of the classroom by the window, Rosie decides she will do something. When Violet doesn’t show up for school one day Rosie covers Violet’s plant with extra soil. Then the guilt sets in. Later she uncovers the plant and then decides to take care of both plants while Violet’s out with the chicken pox. When Violet comes back she is both pleased and a little surprised that her plant is the tallest–along with Rosie’s. After a quiet “thank you” she goes begins boasting again. And the teacher (who told Rosie she was the best gardener she has ever had in her class) smiles at Rosie.

I like how this book explores the nature of friendship in a elementary school classroom setting. In the illustrations there are plenty of ways that Violet sure looks like “the best” but there are many illustrations that show that she is a loud, exuberant girl that could make others feel a little overwhelmed. The illustrations also perfectly portray the quite, detail-oriented Rosie. Since I know many youngsters who often feel frustrated that they can’t be the “best” at something or other (or often times “anything”), it is nice to see how Rosie discovers that she can not only be good at something…she can be a good friend while being good at something. I like it!

What to do after reading this book:
Write a list of accomplishments for each member of the class/family.
Plant a seed and take care of it for the next few weeks.
Do something nice for someone else, and try to do it without them knowing who did it.
Say “thank you” to somebody each day for a week.

What to learn from this book:
Not everyone has the same talents and abilities.
It teaches cause and effect. What would happen if Rosie didn’t uncover Violet’s plant. What happened because she decided to take care of both plants.
Kids can learn about relationships and ways to be a good friend. Why did Rosie decide to do what she did? What should Rosie have done? What should Violet have done? How can you look for ways to be nice to other people?

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