For Jessica, a worrier by nature, there's a dark underside to her first grade's 100th Day celebration. In honor of the occasion, her teacher wants each student to round up a collection of 100 small things. The girl spends an entire week ruminating--"100 ice cubes? Too melty. 100 marshmallows? Too sticky. 100 toothpicks? Too pointy"--and the pressure builds as all the other kids' collections start rolling in. But Jessica is fortunate in her family: seeing her bereft and despondent on the morning of the 100th day, each member pitches in (10 buttons from her father, 10 barrettes from her sister, etc.), and her collection of their contributions (which includes 10 "Xs" from a comforting letter written by her mother) is hailed by her teacher as "100 bits of love!" This is a knowing and funny book that succeeds without patronizing its fretful heroine or sentimentalizing the supportive response of her family. Cuyler's (The Biggest Best Snowman) tight text keeps the story moving apace; Howard's (the Mr. Putter and Tabby series) crisp and colorful cartoon illustrations rendered with an energetic ink line add just the right touch of freneticism. Ages 5-8. (Jan.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
The first-grade teacher wants each student to collect 100 small things in honor of the 100th Day of school, which starts one girl worrying. "This is a knowing and funny book that succeeds without patronizing its fretful heroine or sentimentalizing the supportive response of her family," PW wrote. Ages 5-8. (Jan.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
- Children's Literature
If you are a worrier, you will identify with Jessica's concerns in 100th Day Worries by Margery Cuyler. From the moment that Jessica's teacher assigns the class homework to bring in a collection of 100 things on the 100th day of school, she begins worrying. Only one week to find her items. Everything she thinks of is either perishable, too sticky, too pointy or too costly. The days are flying by with Jessica getting more confused and concerned. Her family proves their loyalty and love in some delightful way. The simple math lesson is a pleasant diversion from more complex assignments--or as the publisher suggests, read 100 books in 100 days! That's a worthy goal. 2000, Simon & Schuster, Ages 4 to 8, $16.00. Reviewer: Jan Lieberman
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-While the other first graders are busy assembling their collections of 100 things to celebrate the 100th day of school, Jessica is busy worrying. She doesn't have a hundred of anything. She comes up with a lot of ideas, but then rejects them all. "100 ice cubes? Too melty. 100 marshmallows? Too sticky. 100 toothpicks? Too pointy." On the morning of the big day, she begins to cry, and her parents and siblings race around the house, coming up with nine mini-collections that, put together, equal 90 nifty things. Jessica accepts their tokens, but worries about finding 10 more items before her classmates present their collections. A note from her mom in Jessica's lunchbox gives her a great idea-and provides the perfect way for the child to complete her assignment. Howard's cartoons feature warmly drawn characters with expressive facial expressions, and pastel color washes offsetting the white space. The artist accurately depicts Jessica's mini-collections, so readers can count each group of 10 objects-all the way to 100. Teachers and students will enjoy this sweet story as they prepare their own celebrations. A worthy companion to Joseph Slate's Miss Bindergarten Celebrates the 100th Day of Kindergarten (Dutton, 1998).-Lisa Gangemi Krapp, Rockville Centre Public Library, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Margery Cuyler has written stories ever since she learned how to write. A children's book editor and author for more than twenty years, she now devotes most of her time to writing. Her many children's books include 100th Day Worries, illustrated by Arthur Howard, and The Biggest, Best Snowman, illustrated by Will Hillenbrand. Margery lives with her family in Princeton, New Jersey, in a house that's said to be haunted by a ghost!
Arthur Howard is the illustrator of Cynthia Rylant's Mr. Putter and Tabby series, as well as his own picture books. He has also co-authored and illustrated many books of humor for adults and appeared for seven seasons in the PBS math-oriented production Square One Television. He has collaborated with Margery Cuyler on the previous Jessica Worries books. Arthur Howard lives in New York City.