Emma and her lively family have adventures with their new nanny
Children's LiteratureWith a name like Emma Dilemma, how can the main character not get into trouble? Eight-year-old Emma is more mischievous than devious, but she constantly causes problems in her family of seven. First of all, her beloved ferret, Marmaduke, cannot seem to stay in his cage, while almost daily her mother threatens to return him to the pet store. Just when Emma is trying to prove to her parents how responsible she is so she can join the traveling soccer team, Emma accidentally causes a small fire in the kitchen and nearly knocks the nanny off a two story ladder. To add to her list of woes, the new nanny is in danger of being dismissed, and she is the best nanny Emma and her siblings have ever had. This book has a colorful cast of characters besides Emma. It includes the Irish nanny, Annie, with a genuine brogue and bright red hair; her bratty sister, McClain, who insists on wearing her bathing suit even in the winter; and her brainy and sensible brother, Tim (who never gets into trouble!). Everything works out by the end of the book, and Emma learns some important lessons about maturity and responsibility. 2006, Marshall Cavendish Children's Books, Ages 8 to 11.
School Library JournalGr 2-4-Mishaps of one sort or another seem to find Emma O'Fallon. Quite often they center on her pet ferret, Marmaduke, who frequently escapes his cage (or isn't put there) and disappears in the house. After finding the creature inside her mattress, Emma's mother threatens to take him back to the pet store unless her daughter shows more responsibility. Another worry for Emma is the possibility that her parents will not let her be on the Under Nine soccer team for the same reason. Then a new nanny, Annie O'Reilly, joins the household to help care for the five O'Fallon children, and Emma immediately knows she will have an ally in the lively young woman. The child accidentally burns Annie's passport, and the two of them have an adventure with a locked door, ladder, and second-floor window, but everything works out in the end. Emma is reminiscent of many lively heroines in children's literature, Ramona and Junie B. Jones among them; she goes about living in her own way and in her own style. An enjoyable early chapter book.-Terrie Dorio, Santa Monica Public Library, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus ReviewsPlace one large family with five children, one pet dog and one lovable ferret under the direction of a liberal thinking new nanny and the stakes are high for both minor disasters and uproarious mishaps leaving busy working parents on edge. Emma, one of the elder siblings, is desperate to maintain control and responsibility in order to prove she is capable of participating on a traveling soccer team. At the same time, she feels she must protect Annie the Nanny from losing her new job and following a long list of former nannies out the door. The ever prolific Hermes combines a dash of humor, a pinch of anxiety and a whole lot of warmth and affection with real-life conflict to bring a busy hectic family together in a satisfying conclusion. Short, easy chapters in an amusing and suspenseful text provide intrigue and lots of amusement. Emma is a delightfully genuine young heroine with whom young middle-grade readers will identify and look to for future episodes. (Fiction. 8-10)
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