Marley and the Great Easter Egg Hunt

Overview

The day of the annual town Easter Egg Hunt has arrived, and Marley and his family are ready to find the biggest, most eggstravagant egg! Marley is great at spotting the eggs in trees and behind plants, but he just can't seem to get the eggs to Cassie or Baby Louie before someone else snatches them up. So, in true Marley fashion, Marley decides to forge his own path . . . right through the doors of the town shops. Stopping into the grocery, the bakery, and the party store, Marley creates calamity wherever his paws...

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Overview

The day of the annual town Easter Egg Hunt has arrived, and Marley and his family are ready to find the biggest, most eggstravagant egg! Marley is great at spotting the eggs in trees and behind plants, but he just can't seem to get the eggs to Cassie or Baby Louie before someone else snatches them up. So, in true Marley fashion, Marley decides to forge his own path . . . right through the doors of the town shops. Stopping into the grocery, the bakery, and the party store, Marley creates calamity wherever his paws touch. But will his wild egg chase end up with Marley finding the big, glorious egg before the hunt is over?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Marley’s sixth picture book, the dog is (very) eager to participate in the town’s Easter egg hunt: “He wasn’t sure what an Easter egg hunt was, but he knew he wanted to be in the middle of it!” With his beleaguered family racing behind him, Marley tears through park and town, trying to find the one “very special egg” that’s been hidden along with the rest. In true Marley fashion, he makes a mess as he goes, getting covered in egg yolks, purple icing, and streamers—winding up looking like a “very special egg” himself. Fans of Marley’s exuberant canine antics will enjoy this messy holiday outing. Ages 4–8. (Feb.)
Children's Literature - Suzanne Javid
It is the big Easter egg hunt on Main Street. Everyone is anxiously waiting for the fun to start. "But there's one family running at full speed, led by a galloping dog." A mischievous lab who is not slowing down. Yes, it is Marley taking his over-enthusiastic manners to the center of the town square. He surely does not understand what happens at an egg hunt, but he definitely wants to be part of it. The mayor welcomes the crowd, talks about the "eggstraordinary" egg in this year's hunt, and signals the crowd to get set and go. Marley, off in a flash, tears through the grocery store, bakery and party supply store, knocking down crates of eggs, sprinkles, sugar, streamers, and more. He is unstoppable. Finally the mayor announces the hunt is over, but no one has found the special egg. Not even Marley who, by now, looks like a big decorated Easter egg himself. The crowd laughs, the mayor calls Marley an Easter egg dog and names him the town's most "eggceptional" dog. As to be expected, Marley jumps all over the mayor in thanks, accidently knocking off his top hat. And, in an unlikely, strange and unconvincing move, the special egg falls out of the hat and, of course, Marley is named the winner. This is not a heart-tugging story and Marley is a hero of sorts this time. Illustrations are superb in this paper-over-board edition. While it may not do much to attract new fans, current fans of the series should enjoy the pictures and shenanigans. It should be noted that interior illustrations were done by Lydia Halverson while illustrator Cowdrey did the cover art. Also to be noted is that text is written by Natalie Engel. This title is a first edition and part of the "Marley" series. Reviewer: Suzanne Javid
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—The irrepressible and badly behaved golden Labrador is back for a spring adventure. His family is participating in the town's annual Easter Egg Hunt, but manic Marley isn't having much luck. He is always beaten to the eggs by children. He extends his search beyond the park and into the market, breaking and getting covered by a dozen raw eggs. The canine next visits the baker and ruins the cake he is frosting. A trip to a party store results in Marley being covered in ribbons. His hapless family and the irritated merchants chase him back to the park where the mayor is asking whether anyone found the special "eggstraordinary" egg. For some reason the mayor hid it under his hat, and in a twist that does not make much sense, Marley finds it, making him the winner of the festivities. The illustrations are unremarkable, and the wordy story isn't all that amusing. Strictly a marginal purchase.—B. Allison Gray, Goleta Public Library, CA
Kirkus Reviews
Yet another story about Marley the misbehaving Labrador retriever; here he runs rampant through the town Easter egg hunt. Marley's been running away from his family and into mischief in a rapidly growing collection of Marley children's books, spinoffs of Grogan's best-selling book for adults. Though Grogan's name appears on the cover and title page, the text for this story is actually written by Natalie Engel on his behalf. The frenetic plot follows Marley and his family as they participate in the Easter egg hunt, trying to find one extra-large egg hidden by the town's mayor. Marley crashes and bashes his way around town, breaking raw eggs and covering himself in confetti and ribbons as he tries to capture the special egg prize and his family tries to capture him. In an odd conclusion, the mayor virtually hands Marley the winning egg, which was illogically and improbably concealed in the mayor's top hat. The illustrations convey lots of activity, with cheery Marley in constant motion, though the slapstick humor tries too hard to be funny, and human characters are largely devoid of personality. Even a well-loved, popular main character can't save a story with frantic action, lame jokes and a plodding plot. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062125248
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/22/2013
  • Series: Marley Series
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 299,411
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 620L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

John Grogan

John Grogan is the author of the #1 international bestseller Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog, the bestselling middle-grade memoir Marley: A Dog Like No Other, and three #1 best-selling picture books: Bad Dog, Marley!, A Very Marley Christmas, and Marley Goes to School. John lives with his wife and their three children in the Pennsylvania countryside.

John Grogan ha sido un premiado reportero gráfico y columnista por más de veinticinco años. Vive en Pensilvania con su esposa Jenny y sus tres hijos.

Richard Cowdrey has illustrated numerous books for children, including Bad Dog, Marley! by John Grogan, Animal Lullabies by Pam Conrad, and Frosty the Snowman by Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins. He is the owner of a yellow Labrador, Murray, whose behavior is remarkably similar to Marley's. He lives in Ohio with his wife and children.

Biography

Classifying a writer as an "overnight success years in the making" is something of a cliché, but in John Grogan's case, that designation is undeniably accurate. In fact, his claim that it took him twenty-five years to get to the point where his debut novel hit #10 on the coveted New York Times Bestseller List in its first week and amazingly was already in its twelfth printing after a mere seven weeks on the shelves, doesn't even provide the complete picture. If one takes into account the fact that Grogan has been a devoted and disciplined writer since he began keeping a journal as a young boy, his tale reads more like an overnight success story a lifetime in the making.

Perhaps most impressive of all is the book that became a whirlwind sensation as soon as it was released. Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog is a simple, lovingly rendered memoir about a man and his dog -- not exactly the stuff of lurid controversy. However, it is a testament to the universal power of a personal, witty, honest remembrance that Marley & Me has become such a smash success. It's not just any book that manages to get a "thumbs up" from Janet Maslin, famed literary critic of the New York Times. "Mr. Grogan knew the workings of Marley's mind," she observed in her career-making write up. "He makes that abundantly clear in Marley & Me, a very funny valentine to all those four-legged ‘big, dopey, playful galumphs that seemed to love life with a passion not often seen in this world.'"

Throughout the memoir, Marley manages to get into all manners of mischief -- from smashing and trashing the Grogan home in a variety of ways, to ruining friendly get togethers with his excessive drooling, to embarking on canine panty raids. Throughout it all, the 97-pound Labrador retriever is never anything less than lovable, and Grogan and his wife Jenny display nearly saint-like patience for Marley's rowdy tendencies -- well, they do at least most of the time.

Although humor plays a tremendous role in Grogan's immensely entertaining shaggy dog story (sorry about that, folks), he also uses Marley's misadventures as a means for relating his own story, which isn't always a delightful romp. The reader is carried through tough times in the Grogan household, such as the miscarriage of their first child. However, Marley's presence makes such moments of heartache a bit more bearable for both the young couple and the reader.

Grogan credits his ability to vividly recount such key moments in his life to his decades of devoted journal keeping. "I've been a faithful journal keeper since grade school," Grogan confided, "and many of my published pieces got their start as rough journal entries... Many readers have asked how I remembered detailed moments and dialogue in Marley & Me. I didn't. Many of those scenes came directly out of lengthy journal entries I had written within hours of the event, and that's what I credit for giving those scenes their immediacy."

Marley & Me has undeniably struck a massive chord with dog lovers and critics alike. The accolades this modest memoir has received are truly impressive; Booklist deemed it "A warm, friendly -memoir-with-dog" and Publishers Weekly concurred that "Dog lovers will love this account of Grogan's much loved canine." And let us not forget about that crucial blessing from the New York Times. Not bad for a first-effort that is essentially the story of a "boy" and his dog.

"It took me 25 years to find my way here, but the last few months have been like a rollercoaster ride," says Grogan. "I'm holding on for dear life and watching, with equal parts exhilaration and terror, where it will take me."

Good To Know

A few fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Grogan:

"Before moving to Pennsylvania in 1999, I played bass in a newsroom rock band in South Florida for several years. The band was comprised of reporters and writers from my paper, the Sun-Sentinel, and the Miami Herald. Fortunately for me, everyone else was considerably better than I was, which allowed us to get paying gigs in clubs and bars. On many nights we sounded pretty bad, but occasionally, when all the pistons were firing in unison, when the gods of rhythm and harmony were smiling down, we actually rocked. It was enough to make me believe in magic. Those moments remain some of the best and most fun of my life."

"Along with my technology-suspicious friend, Dave, I'm a Luddite in Training. Even though I'm totally dependent on modern electronic gizmos, from my laptop to my iPod to my cell phone, I love to embrace old technology or no technology at all. I collect old rusty hand tools and sharpen and polish them, then use them to build things out of walnut and cherry that I harvest from fallen trees in the woods. I keep chickens in the backyard for their fresh eggs and would have a goat instead of a lawnmower if I thought I could get away with it. I garden without synthetic inputs and take great joy in turning old potato peelings and coffee grinds into compost. I'm the crazy man in the neighborhood who favors a scythe (you know, like the grim reaper carries) over a gasoline-powered weed whacker. Besides being an efficient cutting tool, the scythe is great for scaring away nettlesome youngsters on Devil's Night."

"I'm pathologically incapable of making decisions. Just ask my wife how long it took me to propose -- on second thought, best not to bring it up. You don't want to be with me while I'm trying to order at a Chinese restaurant. Sometimes, a guy just can't choose between the cashew chicken and the sweet and sour."

"In my first week in my first newspaper job out of college, I was a green-as-could-be 21-year-old, I was sent out to write about a murder victim whose body was found several days after it had been dumped in the woods. It was a hot June and the smell was horrendous. Flies were buzzing everywhere. I grew up in a quiet little suburban town on a lake outside Detroit; I'd never seen anything more horrific than a flattened chipmunk, and now here in front of me was this poor, decomposing man. I stood around with the cops, waiting for the coroner to show up and trying to look nonchalant. A veteran state trooper looked down at my brand-new suede shoes I had bought for the new job, and said, ‘You can kiss those goodbye. They'll never lose this smell.' And he was right. I don't know how or when or where, but with all of you as my witnesses, I vow that scene will someday end up in a book."

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    1. Hometown:
      Emmaus, Pennsylvania
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 20, 1957
    2. Place of Birth:
      Detroit, Michigan
    1. Education:
      B.A. in Journalism and English, Central Michigan University, 1979; M.A. in Journalism, The Ohio State University, 1986
    2. Website:

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