A messy, daydreaming artist despairs of ever doing anything star-worthy in Mrs. Benson’s class.
But it’s not for lack of trying. She mishears the math problem she is supposed to solve on the board and just can’t find her “BIG voice” when she volunteers to read aloud. And spilling snack all over Mrs. Benson’s desk isn’t going to do the trick, either. The final straw for Rose is Mrs. Benson’s inspection of desks. Rose knows hers is the worst in the class, and the butterflies turn into a full-blown tummy ache as Mrs. Benson gets closer and closer. But she’s saved by the bell and manages to make it perfect before school the next day…only to have it undone by her artistic efforts. But that talent becomes the key to both her very own star and one for Mrs. Benson as well, for recognizing and celebrating Rose’s uniqueness. Mann’s ink, gouache, and digital collage illustrations play up the dichotomy between Rose, a pink-cheeked redhead with untied shoes, and Mrs. Benson, an older Caucasian woman with grayish hair in a bun. While readers will certainly empathize with Rose—her facial expressions and body posture make that easy—it’s difficult to see what they will take away from the story, as Rose is just herself throughout.
Would that all teachers find the star-worthy within each of their students. (Picture book. 5-7)