Review Blog

Mar 07 2017

Marge and the pirate baby by Isla Fisher

cover image

Ill. by Eglantine Ceulemans. Piccadilly Press, 2017. ISBN 9781848125933
(Age: 6-8) Recommended. Swashbuckling pirates and a mischievous baby cousin add to the fun and excitement of Isla Fisher's second junior novel Marge and the pirate baby. Marvellous Marge is a babysitter extraordinaire, no taller than 'seven packets of biscuits', with rainbow-dyed hair and a multitude of magical stories about her past child minding adventures. With Mum taking Auntie Sally out for her birthday, Marge returns to look after Jemima and Jakey as well as little cousin Zara.
Marge has previously worked on board a pirate ship 'The Poison Curse' for Captain Not-So-Jolly-Roger. Marge informs the children that pirates love babies more than treasure. With cottonwool beards and pirate jewellery made from buttons, Marge and the children make costumes and enjoy turning Zara's pram into a pirate ship. Even though they leave a mess all over the house and backyard everyone enjoys the pirate activities with Marge. A little magic happens when the adults arrive home and everything is tidy.
In 'Marge and the stolen treasure' the second story, Marge arrives on a very hot day to take Jemima and Jakey off to the local pool. With her rainbow hair hidden under a bathing cap, a pink dressing gown and gold sandals, she is ready to take charge. Jake's red wagon is loaded up with a big vase of lemonade and toy dinosaurs. Marge informs him that sunscreen scares away tigers and lions, so he slathers it on. Her marvellous tales of animal antics and inventive songs accompany their walk. Many adventures await the explorers at the pool, as they conquer their fears and outsmart baby Zara.
'Marge and the wacky wedding' is another humourous tale, filled with ring bearers, chocolate fountains and contrary children. Of course, colourful Marge and her unique rules turn Uncle Desmond and Annie's wedding into a marvellous day.
Eglantine Ceulemans' line drawings bring Marge to life with her crazy hair, creative costumes and her unique style of childminding. They complement Isla Fisher's amusing tales with her outrageously imaginative and engaging protagonist whose witty dialogue and amazing stories of her menagerie of pets and pirate life are enchanting. This is a brilliant read aloud story for junior primary classes and to share at home; children will love Marge's distinctive style of caring for Jake, Jemima and Zara.
Rhyllis Bignell

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