The Just-So Woman likes everything to be just perfect. In the morning she wakes up before the rooster crows. She does her chores. She feeds the cat. Then she fixes breakfast. That is how she likes things done, and so that is how she does them every day—until one day when nothing goes just the way she expects, and she learns that sometimes "just so" isn't the only way things can turn out just right.
K-Gr 2-In a time before electricity, the Just-So Woman lives on a farm and encounters a number of stumbling blocks during a typical day. She has no butter for her morning bread, the stool is broken so she can't milk the cow, her cat licks the spoon she is using, and she is out of soap for washing. Since everything in her life must be "just-so," she ends up eating nothing until suppertime, when her neighbor, the Any-Way Man, convinces her to simply enjoy her bread without butter, dipped in tea. The writing in this beginning reader is as uninteresting as the Just-So Woman's day. "She feeds the cat. She feeds the cows and chickens. Then she fixes her breakfast. She brews some mint tea. She cuts a thick slice of bread. But there is not a bit of butter." The illustrations, which appear to be done in watercolors, capture the era and add some charm, but overall the Just-So Woman's story is just so-so.-Melinda Piehler, Sawgrass Elementary School, Sunrise, FL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.