Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Hurry, Hurry, Mary Dear

Hurry, Hurry, Mary Dear

N. M. Bodecker
Illustrator:  Erik Blegvad 
Picture Book
for ages 4 to 7
Simon and Schuster, 2004   ISBN: 0689861222

"Fall is over, winter's here" and Mary has a lot of work ahead of her. So much work in fact that it is quite exhausting to watch her toil and in and around the house, in the garden and in the yard. There is wood to be gathered, crops to be brought in, prepared and stored; there are cheeses to be made, knitting to be done, and so many more jobs to be completed before the snow flies and the frosts arrive.

As we watch Mary scurry across the pages, working and working and working we begin to wonder. Where is that husband of hers? Didn't we see him on the first page? Isn't he the one who keeps telling "Mary dear" what to do and how important it is to be ready before winter arrives? Why isn't he helping "Mary dear" complete all the pre-winter preparations?

With wonderfully atmospheric artwork which begins to resonate with Mary's tiredness and annoyance, this simple little story is a tribute to all those wonderful women who have worked hard every autumn to get their homes and families ready for the coming cold months. Mary's final triumph against her lazy husband is both funny and, for the adult reader, highly satisfying.