Children's books and book reviews - reading resource for kids, teachers, librarians, parents

*The One and Only Marigold* by Florence Parry Heide, illustrated by Jill Mcelmurry
Also by Florence Parry Heide:

Some Things Are Scary

Princess Hyacinth (The Surprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated)

Also by Jill McElmurry:

Mario Makes a Move
The One and Only Marigold
by Florence Parry Heide, illustrated by Jill Mcelmurry
Ages 4-8 40 pages Schwartz and Wade January 2009 Hardcover    

Marigold is a monkey with an attitude, a lot of stuff, and no manners. To put it bluntly: she's a spoiled brat. Everything is done on her terms, including the types of bribery her mother uses to coax her with, and she is indifferent to everybody and everything else when it comes to getting what she wants.

With her only friend, Maxine, Marigold is a fair-weather friend. She is demonstratively eager to hurt Maxine’s feelings and annoy her as much as possible. She even goes so far as to make it clear that an old coat is dearer to her than Maxine.

Marigold, doesn’t improve with the start of school either. She makes it quite clear that the beautiful clothes her mother bought her are awful and that she hates every one of them. How can she go to school if she doesn’t look just like the rock star she idolizes so much whose picture hangs on her wall?

After reading this picture book, I was struck by several things. The first is that the illustrations are fabulous. If I could look at the pictures and lose the story, The One and Only Marigold would be great. It's a shame there aren't such great illustrations in more of the picture books our children read.

Second, I would never read this story to my children without first telling them that Marigold is a very bad example of a little girl and that her manners, behavior, and selfish disdain for the feelings of others will never be tolerated in a little lady.

Third, although I am not sure if the story is meant to be funny and it just went sadly wrong, or there is honestly no perception on behalf of the authors as to the unfortunate message they are sending out to their young audience in the form of Marigold, there is absolutely no moral fiber and every ounce of intolerable selfishness splashed throughout these pages.

The only positive is a somewhat unclear reconciliation between Marigold and Maxine at the end of the story. Even that is disheartening as Marigold does not have the decency, or even enough awareness of others, to apologize for her repeatedly hurtful actions to Maxine.

click here to browse children's board book reviews
click here to browse children's picture book reviews
click here to browse young readers book reviews
click here to browse young readers book reviews
click here to browse young adult book reviews
click here to browse parenting book reviews
web reviews
  Sonia R. Polinsky/2009 for curled up with a good kid's book  

For grown-up fiction, nonfiction and speculative fiction book reviews,
visit our sister site Curled Up With a Good Book (