Mary Smith (Bccb Blue Ribbon Picture Book Awards (Awards))

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9780374348427: Mary Smith (Bccb Blue Ribbon Picture Book Awards (Awards))
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Time to get up!

Did you ever wonder how people woke up in time for school
or work in the days before alarm clocks? In the early twentieth century, townspeople in England hired "knocker-ups" like Mary Smith for a few pence a week. Mary Smith traveled through predawn streets armed with a peashooter and a pocket watch, waking her clients at whatever hour they requested by plinking dried peas at their bedroom windows.

In rollicking words and pictures, Andrea U’Ren re-creates one busy morning in the life of her intrepid true-life subject – a morning when Mary Smith helps her town start its day in timely fashion, only to receive a rude awakening when she comes home. Could it be that the knocker-up’s own daughter has been sleeping in? Mary Smith is a 2004 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

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About the Author:

Andrea U’ren is also the creator of Pugdog ("Good dog," praised Kirkus Reviews). She lives in Portland, Oregon.

From School Library Journal:

PreSchool-Grade 3-In the days before alarm clocks, people like Smith had an important job in England-they were "knocker-ups," hired to wake the townsfolk for a few pence each week. The opening archival photograph establishes the woman as a historical figure, hand on hip, aiming a peashooter. What follows is a colorful tale of one day in her life, told with energetic prose and delightfully bold color illustrations. The peas hit windows: "TOCK! TOCK! TOCK!" "PLIK PLOK!" "CLICK CLACK SNAP!" rousing the laundry maids, the fishmonger, and the sleepy mayor, who sums up the contribution of the woman's humble work to the functioning of the community: "Without you- everyone would still be asleep in bed, no one would be working, and I wouldn't have a town to run-because everything would be shut down!" The ending has a humorous twist. Outlined in black, U'Ren's art has a clean, graphic appearance that perfectly complements the simplicity of the story. Particularly amusing are the expressions on the characters' faces. A historical note gives supplemental information about the real Mrs. Mary Smith and the role of the knocker-ups. A rollicking read.
Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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