Published by Balzer + Bray
Summary: “The important thing about Margaret Wise Brown is that she wrote books.” And some of the important things about this book about Margaret Wise Brown are that it’s 42 pages because she lived 42 years. That it celebrates the quirkiness of both Brown and her books. That the illustrations pay homage to many of Brown’s works. That critics of her works are humorously but firmly put in their place (Anne Carroll Moore, New York City’s children’s librarian, does not fare well here). That you may not learn everything there is to know about Margaret Wise Brown, but you will learn interestingly odd facts like that every copy of the first edition of Little Fur Family were covered in fur. That “sometimes you find a book that feels as strange as life does…Margaret Wise Brown wrote books like this, and she wrote them for children, because she believed children deserve important books.” 42 pages; grades K-5.
Pros: Mac Barnett is not afraid to go way outside the box in this picture book that pays tribute to Margaret Wise Brown, her art, and her books. It is full of the kinds of details that kids will love, like the fact that, as a child, Brown skinned one of her pet rabbits after it died and wore the pelt around her neck. Or that she bought every flower on a flower cart after selling her first book, then had a big party in her flower-filled house. Any readers who aren’t familiar with Brown’s books will want to go looking for them after reading this one.
Cons: Some will definitely find this book odd. On the other hand, isn’t that kind of the point?