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Marco Goes to School

Overview

The irrepressibly inquisitive Marco is off to school in this picture book from New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast.

Marco is the busiest bird, and it’s time he goes to school! There is so much to do at school, from lessons to lunch to building a block tower to the moon! But Marco soon learns that his plans for the day may be just a bit too ambitious. Luckily, school has one extra surprise for him—and that’s a new friend!
In Marco’s latest wacky ...

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Overview

The irrepressibly inquisitive Marco is off to school in this picture book from New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast.

Marco is the busiest bird, and it’s time he goes to school! There is so much to do at school, from lessons to lunch to building a block tower to the moon! But Marco soon learns that his plans for the day may be just a bit too ambitious. Luckily, school has one extra surprise for him—and that’s a new friend!
In Marco’s latest wacky adventure, acclaimed cartoonist Roz Chast proves that it’s not getting to the moon that counts—it’s the friends we make along the way.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Marco the red parrot wanted to do everything (except sleep) in Too Busy Marco. His mind is still awhirl in this school-themed follow-up: while Marco’s teacher, Mrs. Peachtree, drones on (“Monday Tuesday Chewsday Chumday Humday Doo-dah-day”), his thoughts are on becoming the first bird on the moon (“Must get to moon,” reads the wired bird’s thought bubble at naptime). Chast isn’t interested in messages or lessons—Marco daydreams, has fun at school, and that’s about it—and her scribbly ink-detailed watercolors and Marco’s left-field observations convey his singular perspective with abundant humor. Ages 4–8. Agent: Jin Auh, the Wylie Agency. (July)
From the Publisher
“In Too Busy Marco (2010), the red parrot had too much on his plate. Now he is BORED. Marco’s mom has the antidote—school—which turns out to be more interesting than he expected. Well, not school per se. That’s boring. But there are things in the classroom that pique his imagination, and before long he and the other kids are piling blocks up to reach the moon. The New Yorker cartoonist Chast is as offbeat as ever. Watercolor-and-ink drawings in her distinctive style have plenty of visual asides and silly moments…. A slightly older picture-book crowd will be the best audience.”

Booklist Online, August 29, 2012

August 2012 The New York Times Book Review
“The little parrot at the center of Too Busy Marco (S & S, 2010) is back, and this time, just as he is feeling bored at home, his human mom sends him to school, explaining that it is a place where children go to “learn things”…the story…lands on a comforting truth–regardless of what goes wrong on his first day, Marco finds a friend. Chast’s busy watercolors invoke the constant whirring of Marco’s overactive imagination.”

School Library Journal, June 2012

“Chast isn’t interested in messages or lessons—Marco daydreams, has fun at school, and that’s about it—and her scribbly ink-detailed watercolors and Marco’s left-field observations convey his singular perspective with abundant humor.”

Publishers Weekly, May 28, 2012

“Marco, the little red bird in a world of big humans, is bored with life at home. Because he is a bird of rambunctious confidence, he is enthusiastic when he hears about the concept of school...Marco is at first delighted, thinking school will answer all his questions, such as “Do trees think?” But the lesson of the day, “Monday Tuesday Chewday Chumday Humday Doo-Dah-Day,” soon lulls him into a daydream and he decides that he must get to the moon. His plan, involving a block tower and the joyful assistance of his new classmates, doesn’t quite work out, but Marco is unsquelched. This loopy approach to the theme of first day at school seems likely to comfort by amusement and by the reassuring prospect of Miss Peachtree, the kindly teacher that we see only from the knees down, in glimpses of lovely flowered bell-bottoms.”

Horn Book Magazine, September/October 2012“It’s never too early to expose your child to the joys of Chast’s wobbly-inked humor, and winning converts will be easy with this latest tale (after “Too Busy Marco”) about the dimwitted parrot. Not so easy, however, is convincing Marco of the appeal of school…. Happily, the actual classroom experience rouses Marco’s latent ambitions, if not quite his ability to attain them. There’s always first grade.”

USA Today
"Marco, a small red bird with big dreams in a world of humans, hopes his first day at school will answer all the questions chirping in his head.... Marco doesn’t realize his dream—to be the first bird on the moon—but finds a friend at school. Grown-ups may recognize the ironic humor of Roz Chast, a cartoonist for The New Yorker. Kids will laugh at and cheer for Marco."
From the Publisher
“In Too Busy Marco (2010), the red parrot had too much on his plate. Now he is BORED. Marco’s mom has the antidote—school—which turns out to be more interesting than he expected. Well, not school per se. That’s boring. But there are things in the classroom that pique his imagination, and before long he and the other kids are piling blocks up to reach the moon. The New Yorker cartoonist Chast is as offbeat as ever. Watercolor-and-ink drawings in her distinctive style have plenty of visual asides and silly moments…. A slightly older picture-book crowd will be the best audience.”

Booklist Online, August 29, 2012

USA Today
"Marco, a small red bird with big dreams in a world of humans, hopes his first day at school will answer all the questions chirping in his head.... Marco doesn’t realize his dream—to be the first bird on the moon—but finds a friend at school. Grown-ups may recognize the ironic humor of Roz Chast, a cartoonist for The New Yorker. Kids will laugh at and cheer for Marco."
August 2012 The New York Times Book Review
“It’s never too early to expose your child to the joys of Chast’s wobbly-inked humor, and winning converts will be easy with this latest tale (after “Too Busy Marco”) about the dimwitted parrot. Not so easy, however, is convincing Marco of the appeal of school…. Happily, the actual classroom experience rouses Marco’s latent ambitions, if not quite his ability to attain them. There’s always first grade.”
School Library Journal
PreS-K—The little parrot at the center of Too Busy Marco (S & S, 2010) is back, and this time, just as he is feeling bored at home, his human mom sends him to school, explaining that it is a place where children go to "learn things." Marco's not so sure about this "school" thing and spends most of his time daydreaming about going to the Moon. Finally, it's playtime, and he enlists his classmates to help him build a tower of blocks to the planet. When it comes crashing down, his teacher steps in to brighten his day with a game of block basketball. Though the story meanders as wildly as Marco's attention span, it lands on a comforting truth—regardless of what goes wrong on his first day, Marco finds a friend. Chast's busy watercolors invoke the constant whirring of Marco's overactive imagination.—Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD
Kirkus Reviews
In his second outing, the parrot with big dreams does his daydreaming at school. "Skool" is a completely foreign word to Marco, who at first wonders if it might be something to eat. On his first day, the little red parrot finds his teacher's flowered pants quite fascinating, but even better is the astronaut toy atop the bookshelf, which suddenly turns Mrs. Peachtree's speech into "blah, blah, blah," and sparks a "First Bird Reaches Moon" fantasy. Playtime and a block tower to reach the moon cannot come soon enough for the jittery, imaginative bird. Block basketball (aka cleaning up) distracts him from the tower's failure, and a turn on the swing with a new friend just may spark a new idea on how to achieve his dream. Chast's world is a little like Stuart Little's. The parrot acts like a human child, but everyone around him is an actual Homo sapiens. Chast's watercolors emphasize this dichotomy, the tiny parrot dwarfed by his enormous (by comparison) classmates. Cute is not a word that would apply to her spreads, which are filled with toothy kids with limited facial expressions. This lacks much of the humor of Marco's first outing (Too Busy Marco, 2010), does little (or nothing) to allay children's fears about school, and touts a character who daydreams during lessons instead of listening to his teacher: Skip. (Picture book. 4-8)
The New York Times Book Review
It's never too early to expose your child to the joys of Chast's wobbly-inked humor, and winning converts will be easy with this latest tale (after Too Busy Marco) about the dimwitted parrot.
—Pamela Paul
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416984757
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 7/10/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 529,554
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.20 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Roz Chast

Roz Chast is a staff cartoonist for The New Yorker and is the illustrator of Steve Martin’s popular children’s book The Alphabet from A to Y with Bonus Letter Z. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children. She is also the author and illustrator of Too Busy Marco.

Biography

Roz Chast was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her cartoons began appearing in the New Yorker in 1978 - since then more than a thousand of her cartoons have appeared in the magazine, as well as in Scientific American, the Harvard Business Review, Redbook, Mother Jones, and many others. Michiko Kakutani has described her work as taking place in “a parallel universe to ours, utterly recognizable in all its banalities and weirdnesses, but slightly askew." She has written or illustrated more than a dozen books, and much of her work is collected in Theories of Everything: Selected, Collected, and Health-Inspected Cartoons of Roz Chast, 1978-2006.
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