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Book Review: “It’s All About Mary”.



The boys and I were pretty excited to find out that local author, Robyn McLennan has released another book.

Robyn McLennan is the author of three children’s books: The Clunkertons of Sunnybank CreekThe Clunkertons and their Unforgettable Journey and the third in this series, The Clunkertons and the New Beginning. All of the books are illustrated by local cartoonist, Jules Faber.

I wrote a review on these books last year which you can read about here and here.

It’s All about Mary takes on a whole new subject and is told through the eyes of Mary, a White Cockatoo. It starts with a gift in a red box for Christmas:

"What is it?" he shrieked
As he opened the box
To find me just sitting
Alone and quiet lost.


Little Mary isn’t a pretty sight at first, looking very scrawny and having no feathers and it isn’t a good beginning when she bites John’s finger. But Mary soon finds her place in the Smith family and the story continues with her journey through life and the ups and downs that happen along the way.

The book is written entirely in rhyme and is a delight to read out loud. It flows very nicely and is very cleverly written. And of course, Jules Faber’s illustrations are just amazing as usual. Very bright and eye-catching pictures that compliment the story perfectly.


One of my favourite verses is this one: (which I am sure a few of us can relate to!)

Henrietta brought me cakes galore.
Charlie brought me chips.
Harry brought me pickles too.
And sometimes, tasty dips!
Now eating wasn't hard to do.
I loved their special treats.
But I ate
And ate
And ate so much
That I couldn't find
My feet!


The story is quite a long one but I read it to my 5 year old and he sat there totally absorbed for the entire time. At the end the first thing he said was “can you read it again?” – which is always the best sign of a good book! My 9 year old grabbed the book as soon as he saw it on the kitchen counter and read it through twice before giving his review “it’s really good!”

I would highly recommend this book for slightly older children, maybe 5 years plus. I was really thrilled to be able to read a longer book to my 5 year old, who has just started Kindergarten and is growing out of the standard picture books and needs a bit more of a challenge. This book was perfect for that, being longer in length and really telling a great story but also the rhyme made it interesting to read and listen to and of course he loved the pictures!

You can purchase this book from Bookworld on Harbour Drive but Robyn will also be at the next Made with Love Markets on Sunday 29th March. This is a great chance to meet the author who wrote the book which I think is a rare and unique opportunity for kids.


Categories : Alison's Blog

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