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, MA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Lechner's debut sets out to prove that cuddliness is not the only criterion children use in choosing a lovey. "Mary had a little lamp- / The bendy, gooseneck kind. / And everywhere that Mary went / She dragged the lamp behind." Mary takes it to school to learn spelling, sends it down the slide at the playground and even tucks it into its own miniature bed each night. Her friends, teachers and parents are all flabbergasted. In the end, though, Mary goes off to summer camp and, to the surprise of everyone, leaves the lamp behind. At Camp Wottalottaphun Mary learns "That she could have a lot of fun / Without the lamp around." Lechner's rhythm and rhyme are spot-on in adapting the beloved nursery favorite. Staake's computer artwork has kid-appeal, featuring stock characters, bold colors that extend even to skin and building facades and facial expressions that speak louder than words. Enjoyable fluff . . . but just to head off any copycats, parents may want to nail down the appliances. (Picture book. 3-8)