Marvin and Marigold: A Stormy Night
Mark Carthew and Simon Prescott
New Frontier Publishing
On a wild windy night, as Marigold snuggles under her blanket, the lights go out and frightened by all the shadowy shapes in her room, she gathers up her blanket, pillow and teddy and hides under the bed.
As she cowers in the darkness there’s a rat-a-tat at her window and she sees her neighbour Marvin Mouse. Marvin is frightened by the wind and also wants to hide.
Marigold invites him in to share her safe place and the two take comfort in each other’s company but not for long.
Soon there comes another knock: it’s Marvin’s grandparents out hunting for their missing poodle. They’ve brought some tasty treats to share
but then comes a howling, a scratch-scratching and a growling outside. Now who or what might that be?
Young listeners will likely anticipate what Marigold finds when she opens to door yet again …
Mark Carthew’s rhyming text bounces along nicely as he creates a mock-scary, ultimately feel good tale of a stormy night.
Simon Prescott adds tension and additional frissons of fear to the mix helping to conjure up the feelings of both the alarm and relief felt by the two small mice.
Barbara Davis-Pyles and Tracy Subisak
Theo wakes up one morning and decides to be a grizzly bear, a very wild and growly one that needs to use the bedpost as a bottom scratcher and doesn’t wear underwear (wait for the giggles) or shoes.
Undaunted, his mum replaces his usual favourite breakfast cereal with fruit and veggies and eventually, with clever use of a poster taped to his bedroom door, manages to pack him off to school.
There, an ursine Theo creates havoc in the classroom and it’s a rather careworn boy who greets his mum back home.
Suddenly however, there’s a turnaround: mum has an attack of the grizzlies and thereafter a compromise is struck as she shows it’s fine to have some wild and free experiences, but in the right place at the right time.
Illustrator Tracy Subisak successfully alternates the two sides of Theo as boy and bear bringing out his changing emotions throughout. With speech bubbles adding to the impact of the author’s storyline, this is a book to spark off discussion about feelings.