Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
Mary Smith

Mary Smith

Fall 2003 Picture Books
Ages: 5 - 8 yrs.
Author: Andrea U'Ren
Illustrator: Andrea U'Ren
ISBN: 0-374-34842-1
Hardcover Price: $16.00
Review:

With irresistible full-page pictures and a light-hearted text to match, this gifted newcomer tells the tale of Mary Smith, a "knocker-up" in the days before alarm clocks had been invented. For a few pence a week, Mary would travel through the streets of the English town in which she lived and wake her clients at whatever hour they requested, armed only with a peashooter and a pocket watch, she plinked dried peas at their bedroom windows until they arose. Baker, train conductor, laundry maids, fishmonger and mayor, all respond to Mary's PLIK PLOKS. So just imagine Mary's shame when she returns home one morning to find her daughter sound asleep long after school has begun. And then share the knocker- up's pride when she learns her daughter has been sent home from class because she tried to wake up a sleeping classmate with her own peashooter and missed-- hitting the teacher, Miss Pinchitt, instead. "For Shame!" gasps Mary Smith, " We really must work on your aim!" It's a delightful close to a gripping bit of history.

Selma G. Lanes   ©2003 Parents' Choice


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