The Children’s Book Review | March 26, 2017
Written by Tammi Sauer
Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
Age Range: 3 and up
Hardback Book: 32 pages
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
What to expect: Nursery Rhymes, fashion, friendship
Mary’s glam is hard to contain, even on her first day of school. Can she bring some sparkle to her new friends and teachers?
Mary’s always had a little bit of glam, and as she grows she becomes more fabulous. On her first day of school she accessorizes up a storm, even adding a bird’s nest to her ensemble on her way to class. Upon arrival, she finds that her new classmates are the glummest looking bunch she’s ever seen. What will she do? Mary, ever resourceful, gets to work accessorizing all of her classmates. A feather boa for her friend, a jaunty sailor hat for another, and soon the class is resplendent in Mary’s fashionable attire. Even the lessons get an update from Mary – a bit of jazziness to music class and glitter to art class. When it comes time for recess though, the children realize their new glamorous accoutrements may not be the ideal clothes for playing in the mud and on the slides.
No worries, because Mary is to the rescue. She strips off her unnecessary extras, likes scarves, silk-lined cape and strappy shoes, and so do the others. They dive and run and play and slide, and have the best time. Mary learns a valuable lesson: sometimes less is more!
This picture book is a fabulous reimagining of Mary Had a Little Lamb, written in the same rhyme. The tune is classic, but Tammi Saurer’s take is wholly original. The story is fun and spirited, and children will enjoy it enough to want to read the rhyming again and again. The illustrations in this book are phenomenal. Light and airy, fun and glamorous, Vanessa Brantley-Newton really captures Mary’s glamorous essence. The collage and painted illustrations are unique and eye-catching, and the sparkly cover stands out. Mary is a beautiful African American girl, and her classmates are a diverse bunch. There was definite attention to representation in this book, and it’s done very well. One of the best nursery rhyme books to come out in recent years, MARY HAD A LITTLE GLAM is an excellent addition to any library, at home or at school.
About Tammi Sauer
Tammi Sauer is a full-time picture book author who has visited hundreds of schools and spoken at various conferences across the nation. To date, Tammi has sold 23 picture books to major publishing houses (Bloomsbury, Disney-Hyperion, HarperCollins, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Simon & Schuster, and Sterling).
In addition to winning awards, her books have gone on to do great things. Mostly Monsterly was selected for the 2012 Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories program. Me Want Pet! was recently released in French which makes her feel extra fancy. And Nugget & Fang, along with Tammi herself, was featured on the Spring 2015 Scholastic Book Fair DVD which was shared with millions of elementary school students.
For more information, visit: tammisauer.com
About Vanessa Brantley-Newton
Vanessa Brantley-Newton is a self-taught illustrator whose passion for children’s books began when she came across Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats as a child in the 1960s. Snowy Day marked one of the first representations of black children in picture books, and seeing a character that looked like her and lived in a neighborhood like her own was a turning point in Vanessa’s life. Vanessa hopes to inspire young readers as Keats did for her and a generation of children. She is the author and illustrator of Let Freedom Sing and Don’t Let Auntie Mabel Bless the Table (both Blue Apple Books), and has illustrated numerous children’s books including One Love and Every Little Thing (both Chronicle), words by Bob & Cedella Marley, and Presenting Tallulah (Aladdin), written by Tori Spelling. Vanessa lives in Charlotte, NC, with her husband of 20 years, their daughter, and a very rambunctious cat named Stripes.
Mary Had a Little Glam, by Tammi Sauer and Vanessa Brantley-Newton, was reviewed by Denise Mealy. Discover more books like Mary Had a Little Glam by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Dragons, Humorous Books, Josh Funk, and Rodolfo Montalvo.