Spring is the perfect time for this kindness picture book lesson.
Everything about the book Rosie Sprout’s Time to Shine by Allison Wortche and pictures by Patrice Barton is Spring-y, from the names of the children to the plants the children grow with their teacher. Overall, it is a book about selflessness and overcoming jealousy. As we read the book, five-year-old Strawberry and I discussed the feelings we had, the attitudes of the children, and what we could learn from them. Plus, it gave us an excuse to plant our own seeds to care for. This small kindness picture book lesson is a nice stepping stone to discussing other positive character traits, such as service, as well.

About Rosie Sprout

In the book, Rosie is tired of being overshadowed in her class by Violet, whom everyone believes is the Best in everything she does. When it comes time to begin the class unit on growing a plant, Rosie is determined to have the best plant, despite what Violet brags. But when Violet remains out of class, sick, for days, Rosie feels she should help Violet’s plant succeed.

I loved how Rosie’s “time to shine” in this book was not about recognition from others, but rather about her own internal change from jealousy to service. The digitally rendered pencil illustrations are soft and sweet, perfectly matching the feeling of Rosie’s story. 

I think it is significant that in the book, no one (other than Rosie and the teacher) notice that Rosie has been the means of helping Violet “shine” as the best. It’s a message that children can learn.

Recognizing Kindness

I’m sorry to say but my five year old has serious kindness issues. She believes she is the center of the world, and that the world should pay attention to her. That said, I don’t think she’s alone among her peers. Rosie Sprout’s Time to Shine provided a nice setting to talk together about what kindness means, even if people are not nice to you.

As we read, here are some of the things we discussed:

  • How does Rosie feel about Violet?
  • What does Violet’s behavior make you feel?
  • How would you feel if you were Rosie?
  • How does Rosie help Violet? Why? Would you do the same?
  • How does Rosie feel about Violet in the end? How do you feel about Violet?
  • How did Rosie “shine”? What can you do to shine like she did?

What a fun way to approach a lesson in being kind!

We also planted our own seeds. It’s important to keep watering our own plants. I loved how this kindness picture book lesson  helped point out that by helping others, we feel great as well!

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We planted our own seeds after we read about Rosie's kindness.

See more book-based learning ideas for spring time with the iHomeschool Network.

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