#715 – I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard by Jennifer K. Mann

star on mrs bensons blacboard cover
I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard

Written & Illustrated by Jennifer K. Mann
Candlewick Press     6/09/2015
32 pages     Age 4—8

“Rose wants to get a star on Mrs. Benson’s blackboard, but sometimes her mind wanders, she doesn’t always know the right answer, and her reading-aloud voice is too quiet. When it’s time to make a thank-you card for an artist who visited her class, Rose makes an amazing card—but also covers herself and her desk in paint and supplies. Will Mrs. Benson be able to see her creativity and passion through all that mess? Is it possible to get a star for something other than answering questions and having a tidy work space?” [inside jacket]

Poor Rose, she tries to answer the questions Mrs. Benson asks the class, she tries to read aloud in a strong voice, and she tries her best to keep her desk neat and tidy—even getting to school early to clean it up. No matter what Rose tries to do, she never gets a star on Mrs. Benson’s blackboard and boy, does Rose want that star. Rose’s attention span is not what it should be. She would rather doodle and daydream. Then an artist named Mr. Sullivan talks to the class about art and being an artist. Afterward, Mrs. Benson asks her students to make thank you cards for Mr. Sullivan. Rose decides to make a “super-gigantic card with paintings on both sides.” It is a beautiful card. But when Rose was finished making her card, her desk was a BIG mess! And Mrs. Benson has just called out Rose’s name in that big, deep voice teachers use when someone is in trouble. Will Rose ever get a star on Mrs. Benson’s blackboard?


I love this story. Every kid wants that gold star on their paper, or in Mrs. Benson’s classroom, on the blackboard. Rose in no exception, but the harder she tries the more she figures she’ll never see a star beside her name on Mrs. Benson’s blackboard. I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard is an inspiring picture book for those kids who find they operate much easier from the right side of their brain. The illustrations are beautiful and capture the classroom setting with a multicultural group of students. The illustrations are a combination of ink, gouache, and digital collages. The gentle humor depicts Rose’s predicament as she tries and tries to please her teacher and get that elusive star. Rose’s thank you card expresses the joy of those children who lean toward the artistic and I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard is a testament to the value of being different in a world that values rules and order.

I WILL NEVER GET A STAR ON MRS. BENSON’S BLACKBOARD. Copyright © 2015 by Jennifer K. Mann. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

Purchase I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard at AmazonBook DepositoryCandlewick Press.

Learn more about I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard HERE.

Meet the author & illustrator, Jennifer K. Mann, at her website:  http://www.jenniferkmann.com/
Find more picture books at the Candlewick Press website:  http://www.candlewick.com/

Starred Review—Publishers Weekly

Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Full Disclosure: Sam & Dave Dig a Hole, by Jennifer K. Mann, and received from Candlewick Press, is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


4 thoughts on “#715 – I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard by Jennifer K. Mann

    • Thanks for sharing, Rose. I moved your comment from I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard, by Jennifer K. Mann, to the Sam & Dave Dig Hole review (the system wouldn’t change photos–so your original comment, with your picture, remains up on I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard).

      I can picture your boys laughing at every turn Sam & Dave make, just missing something spectacular. 🙂


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