cover image Miss Mary Mack

Miss Mary Mack

Mary Ann Hoberman, Nadine Bernard Westcott, Marry Ann Hoberman. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-316-93118-2

Hands will be clapping and toes will be tapping to this spunky rendition of a favorite school yard rhyme. Most kids--and grown-ups, too--will readily recognize the first three stanzas of this comical chant, but after the ""elephant, elephant, elephant"" jumps the ""fence, fence, fence,"" the mayhem begins. Hoberman (One of Each) has the acrobatic pachyderm literally crashing the backyard barbecue of young Mary Mack--and sending hot dogs, catsup and guests flying. Despite the mess, Mary Mack grows quite fond of the friendly beast and, with her famous silver buttons, bribes him to stay. Hoberman's lively verses roll off the tongue. Kids will be eager to learn the hand claps and thigh slaps to accompany this rhythmic romp; instructions, along with music notation, appear on the end pages. Westcott (I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly) attacks her latest subject with great verve and her characteristic sweet, silly humor. Three smiling terriers and a cat appear throughout, adding to the rollicking fun. And a tea party scene with Mary Mack and Elephant manages to be both elegant and hilarious. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)