Books by Mary Rees

THE GORDON STAR by Rebecca Patterson
CHILDREN'S
Released: Dec. 15, 2006

This debut reminds that even the class clown has positive attributes that need to be rewarded. Miss Conway gives out gold stars for behavior and work. But Gordon's name has no stars next to it, partly because of his unconventional solutions to his classmates' problems. In math class, he helps Martha by removing his socks so she can use his toes to count higher. Martha earns a gold star. Gordon is told to put his shoes on. A final disappointment triggers a frustration meltdown. His classmates then begin naming the things Gordon is good at: being kind, helpful, funny and cheering up his friends. In his honor, Miss Conway names the Gordon Star, given each day to the student who exhibits those qualities. Teachers may wish for more examples of Gordon's helpfulness and fewer of his antics, but Patterson's message is clear, as are the meanings of the Briticisms scattered throughout the text. Rees's artwork masterfully illustrates Gordon's emotions, making him into a classmate any child can empathize with. Not a standout, but this may be just the thing for a classroom dealing with its own clown. (Picture book. 5-8)Read full book review >
WHAT ON EARTH...? by Hazel Townson
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 1991

In the tradition of Burningham's Come Away from the Water, Shirley (1977), Dad complains about Laura's uproarious behavior, pictured on left-hand pages, while her parallel imaginary adventures are shown on the right: deep-sea diving, riding a magic carpet, scaling a mountain, etc. In a neat reversal, returning Mom blames Dad for the mess, while Laura's last adventure just may be for real. Neither as subtle nor as neatly structured as Burningham's book, but Rees has an agile, witty pen and kids are sure to enjoy the mayhem. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >