Title: Mary and Marcus: The Crazy Dance and Other Stories
Author: Ursula Dubosarsky and Andrew Joyner
Publisher: HarperCollins Australia/ABC Books
Published: 2nd March 2022
Synopsis: Hook them on reading for life, with the fully illustrated adventures of Mary and Marcus.
Contains five hilarious and silly stories, perfect for emerging readers!
Mary is the happiest panda in the world.
She loves to sing and dance and play the ukulele.
But sometimes things get out of hand!
Lucky she has her best friend, Marcus the snake, to help her out.
From Australian Children’s Laureate Ursula Dubosarsky and award-winning illustrator Andrew Joyner comes five madcap stories about two very different friends.
Readers young and old, early and established, reluctant and confident will all enjoy the adventures of Mary and her friend, Marcus. Mary is a panda – the happiest panda in the world and likes to say oink – a lot. She also likes the ukulele and singing, but always seems to be getting into trouble or stuck – but she has her best friend, Marcus, to help her out.
In each story, Mary and Marcus face a new obstacle. In the first, Mary is about to dance off the face of the earth, in the second, each friend has a great dream – but what happens to the cake in the kitchen? In the third, Mary is very itchy and wants it to stop! The fourth story is about a very long story, and in the fifth story, Mary and Marcus swap what they do to see what it is like to do something different. Mary and Marcus have fun together and are the greatest of friends.
Mary and Marcus’s stories are fun and engaging for readers of all levels, and is engaging and creative, as it brings whimsy, fun, and friendship to the fore and allows people to see how friendships are formed and the different things that friends can do together, even when they are very different like Marcus and Mary.
Animal characters are a popular choice in books – they act as the child character, and can be used to explore lots of different themes and experiences in the known world and a fantasy world, or a world somewhere in between. It’s a delightful series of short stories that will be entertaining for all ages and great for building reading confidence, as the short bursts of text are accompanied by brilliant, action filled illustrations that engage with the text and give it life as the characters explore their world.
This is a great book filled with fun and whimsy, and one that I hope will help foster a love of reading for kids in years to come, allowing them to engage with the story as they learn how to read and recognise words in an engaging and light-hearted way.