Mary is a sweet, thoughtful preschooler, who is faulted more often for speaking too softly than for calling attention to herself. After she asks her mother to take her shopping for a first-birthday present for her baby brother, Mary finds herself standing in the middle of a crowded toy store while her mother is so busy talking with a friend that she’s unaware of Mary’s quiet—and ineffectual—efforts to identify the gift she’d like to purchase. Eventually, Mary finds a louder voice with which to assert herself and all is made right. In images of expressive, bubble-headed Mary, Monescillo uses colorful watercolors occasionally textured with the underlying open-weave canvas and the addition of chalky pigments. Bridges’ text employs a gentle rhythm and spare language to create a real story out of its underlying theme: being polite and assertive are both important. Preschool-Grade 1. --Francisca Goldsmith
"A powerful, much-needed argument for the virtues of civility . . . a nearly perfect parable about being true to oneself in a rough-and-tumble world."
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Understated and sunny itself, this picture book subtly prescribes behavior for situations dire and everyday. So, um, well, will you give it a read...please?"
—Kirkus, starred review
"Mary, with her wavy blond hair and rosy pink cheeks, is an endearing character who learns when to speak up for herself."
—School Library Journal
"Bridges' text employs a gentle rhythm and spare language to create a real story out of its underlying theme: being polite and assertive are both important."
"Sometimes you just have to tell people what you want. And what this smart, affecting and original story wants is some well-deserved attention."
—The New York Times Online
"This would be a fine picture book for a young girl whose good manners could use tweaking."
—The Wall Street Journal
"This gently paced tale shows children there's room for both courtesy and confidence."
—Jennifer M. Brown, children's editor, Shelf Awareness, starred review
"[Mary] is endearing in her shy sweetness."
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books