Mary Had a Little Lampby Jack Lechner, Bob Staake (Illustrator)
Updating the classic rhyme with "appliance humor," gives this book a hilarious twist and a great new take on the "beloved transitional object" story. Mary has a little lamp that she takes everywhere: to school, the movies, the circus, the zoo, even a wedding. One day Mary heads off to summer camp without her bendy-necked lamp and discovers that life without a
Updating the classic rhyme with "appliance humor," gives this book a hilarious twist and a great new take on the "beloved transitional object" story. Mary has a little lamp that she takes everywhere: to school, the movies, the circus, the zoo, even a wedding. One day Mary heads off to summer camp without her bendy-necked lamp and discovers that life without a lamp isn't so bad! In fact, when Mary returns home, her little lamp stays on her shelf for good. Now what will she find instead?
PreS-Gr 2- Mother Goose fans will delight in this offbeat interpretation of the classic nursery rhyme. Instead of a devoted shepherdess, Lechner's Mary is a sassy redhead with an unexplained fondness for her desk lamp. The singsong text imitates the more traditional verse beginning with the lines, "Mary had a little lamp-/The bendy, gooseneck kind./And everywhere that Mary went/She dragged the lamp behind." Despite the confused disapproval of her friends and family, Mary takes the beloved object everywhere, even to her cousin's wedding. ("'We told her she could have a dog-/She wanted this instead!'") Much to her parents' surprise, Mary does not insist on taking it with her when she goes to summer camp. While swimming, canoeing, and having fun, she outgrows her attachment to the lamp. However, when she returns home, she finds a more satisfactory companion-a toaster. The eclectic computer-generated cartoon illustrations are composed of clever combinations of geometric shapes to depict the characters and setting. On one spread, the child walks her lamp down a busy street of multicolored buildings. Traffic stops, curious neighbors peer out of windows, and pedestrians stare at the girl and her unusual pet. For an extra chuckle, young readers will enjoy perusing the brief make-believe reviews from other nursery-rhyme characters on the back cover. This book may be paired with Janet Stevens's And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon (Harcourt, 2001), which plays with another nursery rhyme.-Linda L. Walkins, Mount Saint Joseph Academy, Brighton, MACopyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Meet the Author
This is Jack Lechner's first children's book. He was a producer for The Fog of War and is the author of Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You: One Man, Seven Days, Twelve Televisions (Crown).
ILLUSTRATOR INFORMATION: Bob Staake is a cover illustrator for The New Yorker. He has co-authored and/or illustrated over 40 books, including Hello, Robots! and The Red Lemon.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
A new twist on an old classic -- this wonderfully witty rhyming tale has my daughter '22 months' and husband giggling and singing every evening. Our neighbors dropped in with their two children 'ages 2 & 6' and immediately were hooked on Mary's wacky ways.
I have four children, ages two to ten, whose inclination to disagree on the relative merits of books is rivaled only by their collective hatred of unadulterated vegetables. But they all love 'Mary Had a Little Lamp' -- and so do I. For once, exhortations to 'Read it again!' leave me not aggrieved but delighted. Lechner's text binds unbridled goofiness to swinging iambic pentameter, and Staake's gorgeous illustrations are exuberant and hilarious. Mary is an imp for our age!
Our two girls LOVE this book! We received it as a gift and they are entranced by the illustrations. We love to read it to them so much that we ordered three more this holiday to share with friends kids! We definately recommend this light-hearted silly book for all!!
I read this book in the bookstore and enjoyed it so much that I bought it to have at my house when my grandchildren visit. My granddaughter is here for an overnight stay, and I read it to her for the first time. We both laughed together over this cute story. I immediately came on Barnes and Noble website to see if Jack Lechner had authored any other children's books. Sorry to see this is the only. Hopefully, there will be more to come.