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“A good book is the best of friends, the same today and forever.”
Summary: Beth has the job of watering the classroom plant. Some of the other children get jobs she thinks she would like better: holding the flag, feeding the rabbit, and being first in line. Beth looks longingly at the other children as they do their job until one day when she goes to water her plant and there is a beautiful flower on the top. The whole class admires the flower and Beth decides she had the best job all along. This is an easy reader set in a classroom.
Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, learning to read, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 6 to 8
Interest Level: 5 to 7
Age of Child: Shared with 5-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: She liked seeing the different jobs the classmates had to do. She enjoyed looking at the pictures and watching the expressions on the children’s faces. While we were reading, my daughter commented that she would want to do all the jobs the children in the book were getting to do. She also said she would have enjoyed watering the flower and not been unhappy like the girl in the story. She learned that everyone likes to do different things. She saw that just because you may not like doing something to begin with you can grow to like it.
Adult Reader Reaction: I liked that it was an easy-to-read and easy-to-understand story. It was short, so my daughter could read it, but it still had a lesson. I wasn’t sure she would like it, so I was surprised she has such a strong reaction to the little girl not wanting to do the job assigned to her.
Pros: Emerging readers can gain confidence in this story where they can see themselves. The story teaches a lesson that things aren't always greener on the other side! The pictures in the book are excellent.
Cons: It wasn’t clear whether the job was done in one day or over a week or over a month. I had to make up that it was probably over a month or so since the plant blooms at the end.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. I would only borrow the book as it is a level one book and once it is read the child may only want to read it a few times more.
Educational Themes: This book is good for children who think another child has a better life or toy then they do. The story can open discussions about feelings, choices, acceptance, diligence, perseverance, and pride in your work.
Literary Categories: Fiction - life, easy reader
Date(s) Reviewed: March 2009
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