WHAT MARY JO SHARED by Janice May Udry


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Mary Jo Wood suffered in silence through Show and Tell time when she really wanted to speak, knew that the teacher hoped she would and knew that her father expected her to. She even dreamed about it. Her problem is one of the widely shared blocks that can afflict early childhood -- a hesitancy born of shyness and low-self-assessment, because, even when Mary Jo was determined to speak, her last minute decision was always that her topic wasn't good enough or different enough. The day she decided to share her father was a great success and, after she had delighted her classmates with stories of his pranks as a small boy, he obliged with a few remarks. This is a sound and believable handling of the same problem, last dealt with in Isabelle and the Library Cat (p. 2-J2). The bonus extra of the book lies in the well-drawn, carefully colored illustrations. The Woods are Negroes and they are neither idealized nor exaggerated or faded. In this self-conscious publishing/buying area, Negroes who look like Negroes are rare enough; Negroes shown living through a universal experience are even rarer.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1966
Publisher: Whitman