With the help of Miss Brooks, Missy’s classmates all find books they love in the library—books about fairies and dogs and trains and cowboys. But Missy dismisses them all—“Too flowery, too furry, too clickety, too yippity.”
Still, Miss Brooks remains undaunted. Book Week is here and Missy will find a book to love if they have to empty the entire library. What story will finally win over this beastly, er, discriminating child? William Steig’s Shrek!—the tale of a repulsive green ogre in search of a revolting bride—of course!
Barbara Bottner and Michael Emberley pay playful homage to the diverse tastes of child readers and the valiant librarians who are determined to put just the right book in each child’s hands.
About Barbara Bottner
Barbara Bottner grew up wanting to paint, dance, and tell stories. She went to college, studied in Paris as a painter and then, got lucky. She was asked to do sets for an Off Broadway Company called Café LA Mama, with the famous Ellen Stewart, who fostered the talents of people such as Tom O'Horgan, (Hair) Stacy Keach, Sam Shepherd, and Leonard Melfi who were creating experimental new works. The sets created by Bottner, alas, were too large; they overshadowed the actors. She was fired as a set designer and hired as an actress.
For two years she worked with an ensemble group which toured the US and Europe but was based in New York City. During that time she became a substitute teacher to augment her income. Because she had no training in early education, she was forced to make up her own curriculum. ("Couldn't play the piano or sing," she sighs.)
"Within a year, she had changed directions. "From out of nowhere," she says, "I decided to pursue children's book illustration. I thought I could do original work, rather than go into advertising, or starve as an unproved painter."
Bottner never dreamed of becoming a writer. But after an award-winning playwright wrote a manuscript for her, which was not accepted, she decided to try for herself. "It was a big surprise, getting to meet editors and receive encouragement," she says. "That was the old days, when people really had time to foster new talent. I had a few book 'dummies' before the first one was accepted. I had so little encouragement as an artist, that I was astonished. It's really been a wonderful experience for me. The other things I've done, journalism, animation, television and script writing, book reviewing, humor essays, non-fiction, all were born from the careful guidance of my editors through the years.
"I also began to teach. Since I was really an uneducated writer, I had to figure out for myself why stories worked or not. I'm proud to say that many writers, full of talent, passed through my doors and through the doors of my heart and learned along with me."
Barbara Bottner has written and illustrated more than twenty books for children, including Bootsie Barker Bites, which was named a Junior Library Guild Selection for 1992. She also writes for both film and television.
Ms. Bottner lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Gerald, whose music can also cause changes in the weather.
copyright 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.
Starred Review, School Library Journal, February 2010:
“Bottner’s deadpan humor and delicious prose combine with Emberley’s droll caricatures to create a story sure to please.”
Review, Publishers Weekly, February 8, 2010:
“The heroine makes an indelible presence… Emberley’s (Mail Harry to the Moon!) slice-of-life cartooning is funny, empathetic, and of-the-moment. This story should persuade hard-to-please children that the perfect book for them is out there.”
Review, Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2010:
“In a word: lovable.”
FINALIST Bank Street Child Study Children's Book Award
SUBMITTED Kansas William White Award
NOMINEE IRA Children's Choices
NOMINEE IRA Teachers' Choices
NOMINEE Kentucky Bluegrass Award
WINNER New Mexico Land of Enchantment Book Award
NOMINEE New York State Charlotte Award
NOMINEE Tennessee Volunteer State Book Award
NOMINEE Nebraska Golden Sower Award
NOMINEE Pennsylvania Young Readers Choice Award
NOMINEE 2014 Georgia Children's Book Award