'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday 9 April 2022

Review: Mary and Marcus: The Crazy Dance and Other Stories

Come meet Mary and Marcus in this delightful collection of short adventures by master creators Ursula Dubosarsky and Andrew Joyner.

Mary is a happy panda who likes to say ‘oink’ sometimes. She’s confident and carefree and loves to dance. Marcus is a snake. He’s a little wiser and more sensible than Mary, but he likes to go with the flow and enjoys making Mary happy.

The pair live together in a lovely little world and get up to all sorts of fun together. Like the time they can’t decide who gets the first slice of chocolate cake, so they have a dream competition, the time Mary almost dances off the edge of the world, and the time they swap identities for the afternoon.

Each of the five stories in this book are delightful, fun and a little bit quirky (which I adore). The interplay of characters is also truly magic. Mary and Marcus were destined to be best friends as their personalities support and uplift each other even though they are quite different.

Mary’s free spirit is just lovely for a junior fiction novel, too. She inspires readers to be themselves, have a go and not to worry about what other people think — but not in any way that says this obviously. It’s just there in the kind of panda Mary is.

With five stories in the book, they are obviously quite short, which is perfect for young readers to tackle one at a time. But more than that, this book is highly, highly illustrated with bold and funky pictures filling most of every page and limited, balanced text to accompany it. It’s just gorgeous and a really great book for kids moving on from readers and starting to read independently.

If you’re looking for a JF book for your young story adventurer, I highly recommend Mary and Marcus: The Crazy Dance and Other Stories. Joyful, quirky and infused with a million illustrations, kids are going to love meeting Happy Mary and Marcus the snake.

Title: Mary and Marcus: The Crazy Dance and Other Stories
Author: Ursula Dubosarsky
Illustrator: Andrew Joyner.
Publisher: HarperCollins, $16.99
Publication Date: 2 March 2022
Format: Soft Cover
ISBN: 9780733339844
For ages: 6 - 9
Type: Junior Fiction