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donnaodonnellfigurski.com - ROSIE AND BUTTERCUP

Rosie and Buttercup
Written by Chieri Uegaki
Illustrated by Stéphane Jorisch

Publisher: Kids Can Press
ISBN-10: 1553379977
Ages: 3 to 7

Review and lesson plans by
Donna O'Donnell Figurski

It’s as old as time. It’s happened to me and I’m sure it’s happened to you . . . unless, of course, you are an only child. Sibling rivalry rears its ugly head in almost all families. Oh, Rosie, no doubt, loved her little sister, Buttercup. She couldn’t wait for her to be born. She couldn’t wait to have her as a playmate. She wrote songs for her and played the silly sock game with her. But, as Buttercup grew older, Rosie’s sisterly loved waned. She grew tired of Buttercup’s demands, her noise, her “stuff” strewn all over the room. Sometimes Rosie just wanted to be alone. Rosie was furious when Buttercup almost freed Eenie and Meenie, Rosie’s prize crickets, from their cage. What was Buttercup thinking? So, it was no surprise when Rosie decided to give her little sister, Buttercup away. Wouldn’t you?

But Rosie didn’t expect a funny squeezy feeling to fill her chest as she left Buttercup with Oxford, the babysitter, who lived down the street. And that squeezy feeling just wouldn’t go away . . . no matter how hard Rosie tried to squeeze it out. Rosie didn’t expect to miss Buttercup, but she did! The talcum powder scent reminded her of her pesky little sister. So did the silly socks hanging out of the dresser drawer. Rosie knew what she had to do. She filled her pillowcase with her sun-dried dandelion puffs and set Eeenie and Meenie’s cage on top of Buttercup’s stroller and trudged off to Oxford’s house. She had to get Buttercup back even if it meant giving away her favorite things in the entire world. Rosie hoped that her treasures would be a good trade for her little sister.

Well, I never gave my sisters away, nor my brothers for that matter, but I can relate to how Rosie felt. Little siblings can be pests sometimes. But, if you can wait . . . long enough for them to grow up, you may just have a friend for life . . . and you won’t have to give away your stash of sun-dried dandelion puffs.

This review can also be seen on: SmartWriters

FROM the MOUTHS of KIDDLE CRITers: a critique group

“Rosie liked it when she was an only child,” said Timmy.

“But, when Rosie first knew she was going to get a baby sister named Buttercup, she was very excited,” said Mikaela.

Jewel nodded. “Rosie was happy at first,” she said.

“She liked having a sister,” Timmy said, “Until . . .”

“ . . . Until Buttercup started to copy everything that Rosie said,” interrupted Mikaela.

“Rosie was annoyed,” said Timmy. “I don’t know if Rosie realized that Buttercup was copying her or just trying to get on her nerves.”

“Buttercup wasn’t old enough to realize that copying someone isn’t a very nice thing,” said Jewel. “But Rosie didn’t know that.”
“Rosie used to like Buttercup,’ said Mikaela, “but she got tired of her and gave her away.”

“ . . . To Oxford,” explained Timmy.
“Rosie knew it was wrong to get rid of her little sister so she could have her parents and all of her things to herself,” said Jewel.

Mikaela nodded. “I think Rosie was feeling jealous because Buttercup got more attention,” she said.

“But, it was wrong,” said Callie.

“She shouldn’t have done that,” insisted Jewel. “Rosie is like me,” she continued. “Buttercup is like my sister.
Buttercup sounds like a pain, but she’s really sweet.”

“When Rosie gave her sister away, she got a little tingle in her chest,” said Callie.

“ . . . A squeezy thing,” said Abby. “But I don’t think it was very little because if she were using her arms to stop it, it wouldn’t be that little.”

“And, Buttercup probably felt sad to never see her sister again or her mom or dad . . . only this Oxford dude,” said Jewel. “It would be really upsetting for a little kid like that to be abandoned.”

“I wouldn’t give my baby sister away . . . even if I had a sister . . . which I don’t because I’m an only child,” said Abby.

“If I gave my little sister away, my parents would get M-A-D,” said Jewel. “They would make me apologize to my sister and they would make me apologize to them and to the person I gave her to. Then I would be grounded,” she said. “ But I would miss her. I would miss her, indeed!”

“I would miss her too,” said Abby who is Jewel’s little sister’s friend.

Lawrence looked thoughtful then said. “When my sister went to camp, I missed her . . . in two days.”

“Soon, Rosie kind of missed her little sister, too,” said Mikaela.

“She started to miss somebody to play with,” said Jewel.

Mikaela nodded. “She wanted to sing songs to her. She wanted to play the sock game,” she said.

“And she didn’t want the puffy feeling to come back,” said Abby.

“So, I think Rosie changed her mind because she felt kind of lonely. The house was kind of empty. She felt sad. She had nobody to play with,” said Mikaela. “At first she was very happy because Buttercup wasn’t there, but if you really think about it . . . well, she probably missed the crying and the annoying stuff,” she said.

“I think Rosie felt sad that she gave away Buttercup,” mused Callie.

“So Rosie traded her favorite things (to Oxford), her crickets and sun-dried dandelion puffs because she loved her sister more than anything,” said Abby.

Mikaela agreed. “She actually loved those things, but she loved Buttercup better. Rosie could always get new crickets or dandelion puff balls,” Mikaela said. “But she could never get a new sister.”

(Note: “Rosie and Buttercup is a book for brothers and sisters who fight,” suggests Jewel.)


FLOWER/ANIMAL MATCH:  Language Arts/Science

Flowers are pretty. They smell pretty. They look pretty. They even have pretty names. Many newborn babies are named after flowers. There are cartoon characters named after flowers. Remember Petunia? She’s Porky Pig’s girlfriend. Book characters are named after flowers, too. Everyone knows Chrysanthemum, the little mouse in Kevin Henke’s book by the same title. Then there are names like Pansy and Lily and Violet and even Blossom. There are Rose and Daisy and Poppy and Peony. See how many flower names you can find. Then try the activity below for some very “flowerful” fun.
  • Brainstorm as many flower names as you can think of. Record on chart paper. (See list below.)
  • Brainstorm as many animal names as you can think of. Record on chart paper.
  • Hang charts in room for easy viewing.
  • Next give each child a pre-made book with ten pages. (4.5” x 6”) Use manila paper for the inside pages and construction paper for the covers)
  • Have children choose ten flower names and ten animal names from each chart and write their choices on paper. Use the same beginning letters.
  • Examples:
  • Blossom Bunny           Daisy Duck          Jasmine Jackrabbit
  • Lily Lion                        Poppy Piglet
  • After their work has been checked for accuracy, they may write their choices in their books. (One flower/animal combination per page)
  • Last, they may illustrate their books.
Flower Names:
Angelica, Aster, Blossom, Chrysanthemum, Cynara, Dahlia, Daisy, Daphne, Gay, Ginger, Holly, Hyacinth, Iris, Jasmine, Lily, Marguerite, Narcissus, Peony, Petunia, Poppy, Rosa, Rose, Scarlet, Sienna, Tansy, Veronica, Violet

(More names can be found at the following site:
Baby Name Rant: Flowers and Plants

FLOWER WORD SCRAMBLE: Language Arts/Science/Math
  • Cut out one-inch squares of construction paper.
  • With a black marker print one letter from Buttercup and Rosie’s name on each square.
  • Then make teams of children. Place 2, 3, or 4 children on each team.   
  • Give each team a set of letter squares.
  • Children use the letter squares to make new words. Each word is scored by how many letters are in the word. (See example below.)
  • Set a timer for approximately five minutes.
  • The team with the either the most words or the highest score wins.
        Ex.: B U T T E R C U P     R O S I E

        (C P B T E S R U U E R O T I)

                Toe        3        Prose    5
                Race      4        Cute     4
                Butter    6         Bus      3

(Although I examined these websites and found them to be very helpful, please use them at your own discretion.)

It's My Life; Sibling Rivalry Attention and Approval

Sibling Rivalry
Illinois Early Project: Helping Siblings Get Along


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