Mary Had a Little Lamb

Moira MacLean, Author, Colin MacLean, Author
Moira MacLean, Author, Colin MacLean, Author Doubleday Books for Young Readers $9.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-385-41166-0
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
These two titles in the Nursery Village series exude an insouciant charm. Both books expand upon their original stories, picking up subplots and other fairy-tale characters along the way like a rolling snowball. When Mary's frisky lamb ``wandered off to see what he could find,'' he passes Little Boy Blue and Little Bo Peep and encounters a nasty, gnarled witch. Jumping into a convenient caldron to escape her clutches, the poor creature is turned a ghastly green but is washed clean by Jack and Jill's spilled water. This colorful caper teaches him a lesson, however: ``Now everywhere that Mary goes / the lamb is sure to go.'' In the second book, the old woman and her charges attempt to mend ``an enormous great hole'' in the overcrowded shoe, but to no avail. Realizing that a superhuman cobbler is needed, the resourceful brood climb Jack's beanstalk and bribe the giant with the goose that laid the golden egg. The Macleans' effortless--for the most part--singsong verse and perky, cartoony characters offer engaging variations on some familiar themes. Ages 5-8. (June)
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