* Every Tuesday we introduce you to a favorite book from our secret book room, and give you a unique recipe over on our Book Cook page…
Today’s great book: Contrary Mary by Anita Jeram (1995, Candlewick Press), illustrator of Guess How Much I Love You and many others.
Time to Read: short, great for bedtime after a long day at work
Summary: Mary Mouse decides one day to do the opposite of what she is supposed to do.
Best Quote: “Are you awake, Mary?” her mom called. “No!” Said Contrary Mary.
Our View: Everyone has felt frustrated at some point in life, whether at age 4 or 40. I think that’s why this week’s book has remained so easy to find in our book room since its first publication in 1995. The book introduces us to young Mary Mouse as she awakens with that contrary feeling that we all recognize so well.
It is a bit like Opposite Day for Mary as she progresses through the day with her parents, who ultimately play along with her and end the day on a high note. The rich illustrations and the rhythmic cadence of the words make for a simply understated yet important story that helped give a name (“contrary”) to this very normal feeling that my kids and I have certainly experienced ourselves and seen in others.
When someone is now described as “contrary,” we know exactly what that means because of this wonderful book. We also enjoy the follow-up book Birthday Happy, Contrary Mary (1998)!
Remember to visit our Book Cook page for a “Contrary PB&J” recipe created by the kids to accompany this particular book.