Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Rosie Sprout's Time to Shine

Rosie Sprout's Time to Shine

Allison Wortche
Illustrator:  Patrice Barton 
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Random House, 2011   ISBN: 978-0375867217

In many classrooms there is a child who is a good student, a great athlete, a gifted storyteller, and a wonderful singer. In other words, there is a child who is “the best” at everything. In Ms. Willis’ class Violet is the child who is “the best,” and Rosie is thoroughly fed up with Violet and her attention-grabbing ways.

   One day Ms. Willis announces that they are going to grow pea plants in class. Each child is given a little pot to decorate (Violet’s pot is the “sparkliest”) and then they put soil in the pot and plant one seed. Rosie and Violet’s plants are the first to poke through the soil, but Violet, being the quicker of the two girls, is able to shout out that hers is first before Rosie gets the chance to say anything.

   Then Violet gets the chicken pox, and in her absence Rosie secretly pushes some soil over Violet’s little plant. Now Rosie’s plant is the best. There is a problem though. Rosie cannot help feeling bad about what she did. Winning by cheating doesn’t feel like winning at all. It feels crummy and Rosie makes an important decision.

   Most children want to be in the spotlight once in a while and it is hard living in the shadow of another child who is an high achiever. In this picture book the author tells the story of one little girl who craves getting a little attention in the classroom and who discovers something very important about the value of being “the best.”

   The sensitively told story is paired with warm cozy illustrations to give children a book that will help them to appreciate how important it is to make the right choices, and how significant it is to celebrate those choices.