I was just thinking the other day about how Mom and I love children’s short stories and the wonderful illustrations that go with, especially those with a holiday theme. Mom finds herself perusing, from time to time, the children’s section of the local bookstore. She likes to peer at the various book covers and notes the names of authors, artists and publishers. She has even started a small collection at home of our favorite reads. I thought it would be fun to share with you one of our new favorites – Mary McScary, a new book out just in time for fall! And I’ve included a list of my other favorite reads for a bit of extra All Hallows Eve entertainment!
Valentine the Cat’s Review of Mary McScary
Summing it Up
Mary McScary is a cute, little red-headed girl. She wears her hair in two braids tied with pink bows. Outfitted in a plaid jacket over a white, button-down shirt, pleated blue skirt and Mary Jane shoes, she is ready to take on her biggest challenge. An orange Tabby cat and gray mousie are her pals. Mary is sort of little prankster, ‘cause she is always purposefully scaring those she’s with. One time she scared by just shouting “Boo!” Another time she made her papa SCREAM. Then she frightened the dogs so much they ran, and she scared the goldfish in the bowl, too. She even scared a great big balloon she held by a string in her hand. But there is a someone that Mary has not yet been able to spook – her cousin, Harry. Wearing a red-and-white striped shirt with blue shorts, Harry pays Mary a visit. Mary tries several times to scare him. But when dressing up as a hairy monster, unleashing creepy spiders, or even letting a green snake slither about, don’t do the trick, Mary has to rethink. Will she give up? Or will she find a way to scare Harry, and if so how? And will kitty and mousie help her out? I do know the answers, yet I cannot say. For I don’t want to give the ending away! Tee hee hee!
I’m so glad that Mom stumbled on this tale, a September 2017 publication. It was a surprise discovery, she said, on the shelf at the bookstore. It was one she didn’t see on her first visit, but saw it out the very next day. I was delighted when I pawed through the pages to learn that little Miss Mary has a kitty. So, of course, I had to make it a priority read when Mom presented it to me!
I love the always observant kitty that keeps watch on his silly little human. The weary, wide-eyed look on the kitty’s face is priceless as he and the mousie watch Mary’s antics unfold. They are a little skeptical in her activities and keep a quiet tongue, probably so they don’t become her next scare victims! I have to say that Miss Mary is a creative and imaginative one. Putting fried eggs over her eyes at the breakfast table, scaring her papa, seems rather silly, yet it proved very effective. I was just thinking… I bet I could scare Harry by coughing up one of my black hairballs and leaving it for him to accidentally step on!
I really did enjoy this book! The story is lots of fun and what I call a wee bit scary, meaning that little readers won’t scream in horror and want to hide for cover. I just wish the author would have given kitty a name, after all he played a supporting role throughout the entire book. The illustrations are pretty cute, though I am disappointed that the illustrator did not include kitty on the dust jacket with Mary, but instead he chose a D-O-G! This is an error that I believe should be corrected with the next printing! Well, at least he featured kitty on most of the pages of the book and I thank him for that.
Mary McScary, by Author R. L. Stone, illustrated by Marc Brown, is available at Barnes and Noble retail stores and online in hardcover and NOOK book versions. I give the book 3 ½ out of 4 paws.
Valentine the Cat’s Favorite Children’s Short Stories for All Hallows Eve
Listed in Alpha Betty’s order by title. All titles available at Barnes and Noble unless otherwise noted:
- Dorrie and the Halloween Plot, by Patricia Coombs, 2009 publication, available at amazon.com in hardcover, paperback & audio versions, 1976 original publication in hardcover (as pictured above)
- Little Blue Truck’s Halloween, by Alice Schertle, Illustrated by Jill McElmurry, 2016 publication, available as a board book
- Pete the Cat: Five Pumpkins, by James Dean, 2015 publication, in hardcover & NOOK book versions
- Room on the Broom, by Julia Donaldson, Illustrated by Axel Scheffler, 2003 publication, in hardcover, paperback, board book, & audio versions
- Scaredy-Cat, Splat!, by Rob Scotton, 2015 publication, in hardcover, paperback & NOOK book versions
- There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat, by Lucille Colandro, Illustrated by Jared Lee, 2005 publication, in hardcover, paperback, board book, NOOK book & audio versions
- This is the House that Monsters Built, by Steve Metzler, Illustrated by Jared D. Lee, 2016 publication, in hardcover & NOOK book versions
Note: To be one of my favorites, the book has to include a kitty(s) as one of the characters.
Do you have a favorite children’s short story that you like to read? I would love for you to comment. If you liked this post, please see also “Pawsitively a Thrill: Sherlock Herms and the Case of the Dancing Ghosts.” And don’t forget – Tuesday, October 24 is the last day to enter my contest for All Hallows Eve. Mew Mew!