About I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard
Rose’s teacher gives stars for spelling and neatness and giving the right answer, but Rose can’t manage to do any of those things right. Will she ever get a star from Mrs. Benson?
Rose is a distracted and creative soul. She does her best at school, but sometimes her mind wanders, and she answers the wrong question. Her reading voice is quiet, not strong and loud. And her desk?—well, keeping her desk neat is a challenge. When it’s time to make thank-you cards for a class visitor, Rose’s art supplies turn her workspace—and her—into a colorful mess. But her artistic skills shine through in the gorgeous oversize card she creates. Could she possibly get a star after all? A cheerful and empowering picture book for the child whose talents lie in unconventional areas, and those still searching for their strengths.
Mann, in her second book as both author and illustrator, works with assurance as she puts her jittery ink line and layered washes of color to work in the service of both emotional vulnerability and schoolroom slapstick without missing a beat…. Mann is well on her way to becoming a champion portrayer of those who color outside the lines or march to a different drum. —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
There’s considerable potential for classroom conversations here, particularly as students gather to talk about different strengths, and Rose’s story will resonate with many an earnest artist trying to find his or her way onto the board. —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)
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…Readers will certainly empathize with Rose. —Kirkus Reviews
This warm, generous outing will appeal to children both with and without a polished sense of self. —Booklist
A unique addition to school-themed picture book collections. —School Library Journal
Large ink and gouache illustrations are reminiscent of Peter Reynolds’ work with their childlike wavering lines and bright washes, capturing the endearing Rose’s every emotion from despair to triumph…Mann conveys the yearning of a child for her teacher’s approval and the magic that can happen when a wise teacher celebrates the uniqueness of each student. —School Library Connection