Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Jennifer K. Mann
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Rose wants to get a star of Mrs. Benson’s blackboard more than anything, but she can’t seem to be good enough to make it happen. She’s not good at math, she can’t read loud enough, and her desk isn’t neat. Lucky for Rose, though, the bell rings early enough that her desk doesn’t get inspected and she gets to school early so she can make her desk spic-and-span. When they start making thank you cards for a classroom visitor, however, her desk gets messy again! Mrs. Benson isn’t mad, though—Rose gets a star on the blackboard for her art!
The idea of a teacher rewarding stars for good things and the student being worried that she’s not good enough can be somewhat upsetting, particularly when Rose is so worried about not getting a star that she feels sick. However, Rose’s attitude and how she doesn’t give up to reach her goal is admirable, as is the point where she realizes that she has talent as an artist even if she isn’t the best in other categories. The illustrations are funny and cute, but some of the messages of the story can be upsetting for some people.