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Miss Mary Mack

Miss Mary Mack

by Mary Ann Hoberman Illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott

Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack All dressed in black, black, With silver buttons, buttons, buttons, All down her back, back, back...

Every child knows some version of this popular hand-clapping rhyme, in which Miss Mary Mack borrows 50 cents from her mother to watch an elephant jump so high over a fence that he reaches the sky and doesn't come back until the Fourth of July. But who has stopped to think what might happen when the ultimately gravitationally controlled elephant lands? Well, popular children's poet Mary Ann Hoberman thought about it, and her clever adaptation of the rhyme is a marvelous extension of the nonsensical fun. Appearing in the sky like a UFO, the elephant disrupts the neighborhood picnic (and makes a big hole in the backyard), but wins the heart of young Mary, who begs him to stay. The two live happily ever after in a world filled with hay dinners and peanut tea, and they jump the fence together, parachuting gently down into the backyard, which now sports an elephant-shaped swimming pool.

Fans of hand-clapping games will welcome the sheer silliness of Hoberman's verse, while music and hand-clap instructions are included for youngsters who are new to this clapping concept. In perfect complement to the fun created by the text, award-winning artist Nadine Bernard Westcott has provided abundant, detailed, full-color illustrations bursting with imagination. Her pictures take every idea beyond its logical conclusion, and the absurdity will be a hit with readers of all ages.

4, 5, 6
Interest Level
Grades PreK - 1
Guided Reading
Comedy and Humor, Poetry, Songs, Verse

About the Author and Illustrator

Mary Ann Hoberman 2008 Children's Poet Laureate of the United States
Nadine Bernard Westcott Nadine Bernard Westcott has illustrated numerous books for children. She lives in Nantucket, MA with her husband, Bill.

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