Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Mary Kate Storybook

The Mary Kate Storybook

Helen Morgan
Illustrator:   Shirley Hughes 
For ages 5 to 7
Faber Children's Books UK, 2000   ISBN: 978-0571206605

   Mary Kate is a very active four-year old who has all sorts of adventures. Her adventures are the everyday kind, the kind that could happen on any day but that are still very special and exciting.

   For example, there is the day when Mary Kate gets the most dreadful cold. How miserable Mary Kate is. Then things start to get better, especially when Mary Kate’s bed is moved downstairs so that she can be nearer the rest of the family. After a while Mary Kate begins to notice that her family is behaving very oddly indeed. What are all the banging noises upstairs, and why is Mummy and Aunt Mary dressed as if they were doing the spring cleaning? Once she is well enough, Mary Kate discovers that her family members have planned a wonderful surprise for her.

   This is a first-rate collection of short and simple stories about the kinds of things that can happen in the life of a four-year-old. One’s first baby tooth may fall out, one may be a bridesmaid at a wedding, and one may even win a race on school sports day. The author gets inside the heart and mind of Mary Kate in a very convincing way, and she clearly understands the ways of little children, their language, and their concerns. In no time we find ourselves enjoying Mary Kate’s small victories and the surprises that seem to fill her world.

   This book is perfect for reading aloud and it would also make a very suitable chapter book for a younger reader.