Books by Mara Bergman

Released: Feb. 12, 2019

"Sweet fun for storytime and bedtime. (Picture book. 3-6)"
When the titular tall man and small mouse finally discover they've been sharing a house, they quickly become collaborators. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2010

Elizabeth is more than lively; she's a very noisy whirling dervish. One day at nursery school she pushes Joe. He knocks the child in front of him and thus begins a chain reaction that involves all the children in the class. Each one blames the one behind until they realize that Elizabeth started it all. She is contrite, apologizes sincerely and all is well in this very slight cautionary tale. Bergman describes the action with sharp imagery that is beautifully complemented by Thomas's bright, spirited illustrations that race across the pages. The children are dressed in a wild variety of costumes and accessories that are flung about and make a resounding, booming noise as they come crashing down. Both the text and artwork capture the chaos vividly. Young readers will delight in details like untied shoes, silly headgear and the classroom frog on the loose. Parents and teachers will find it a great candidate for reading aloud, for it tickles the funny bone while providing a gentle lesson on safety. A sweet charmer. (Picture book. 3-7)Read full book review >
YUM YUM! by Mara Bergman
Released: Jan. 1, 2009

Katie, James and their little dog Harry are aspiring chefs, but there's one (or more) too many cooks in this kitchen in this humorous offering. As they bake, the smells waft from the children's window, and the zoo inhabitants take note. Booming sounds fill the spread as each unusual creature enters the family home unannounced, hiding behind coat racks and lamps. Dual action is hilariously depicted as the cooks begin to fight, oblivious to the unwelcome guests' antics. The bouncy text repetitively builds to a robust refrain until the zoo's leading resident enters the room: "EVERYONE saw / who stormed through the window, / rough and ready, / big and heavy, / hairy and just / a little bit scary— / even Katie and James / and their little dog Harry!" Maland's illustrations innovatively combine watercolors and photocopied drawings, exuding energy through thin, flowing lines; bold perspectives add punch as darker colors pervade the soft backgrounds. The growling giant's slanted eyes are sheer delight. Sweet with a pinch of spice, this rhyming read-aloud serves up one flavorful treat. (Picture book. 3-6) Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2007

A little boy who "couldn't and didn't and would not sleep" prefers to stay awake and play. Every night after Oliver Donnington Rimington-Sneep's parents kiss him goodnight and turn off the light, he bounces out of bed. Oliver paints, draws, does magic, reads and races cars. He even blasts off in a rocket all the way to Mars, where he isn't at all scared. But eventually Oliver soars back to his room where "all his cuddlies looked cozy and warm" and, after all that adventure, he's finally ready to fall asleep. The soporifically rhythmic verse casts Oliver as the mini-hero of his real and fanciful bedtime adventures. Whimsically detailed watercolor and line illustrations lift Oliver from the intimacy of his bedroom into a boundless outer-space fantasy world where creatures bear a strong resemblance to Oliver's stuffed "cuddlies" and the rocket ship looks a lot like Oliver's toy space ship. A warm and fuzzy homage to Sendak's Max and his wild things guaranteed to lull little ones into their own night-time adventures. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >
SNIP SNAP! by Mara Bergman
Released: April 1, 2005

When an alligator chews open the door and comes creeping, creeping through their apartment, are Marissa, Eva and Jonathan afraid? "YOU BET THEY WERE!," Bergman affirms, in a repeated, spread-filling, increasingly emphatic chorus. Though a rather pale shade of green in Maland's cartoon scenes, the big, scaly intruder positively exudes toothy menace—until the children finally decide "they'd had enough / of all this scary alligator stuff. / They plucked up their courage / and gave a great shout: / ‘ALLIGATOR, YOU GET OUT!' " And was the alligator scared? "YOU BET IT WAS!" Turning tail, it hustles back down the stairs to the storm drain from whence it came. No diecuts, but still a good alternative to Ed Emberley's classic Go Away, Big Green Monster (1992). (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
MUSICAL BEDS by Mara Bergman
Released: Oct. 1, 2002

A trio of tots keeps a weary Dad running in this tale of nocturnal wanderings. A shivery shadow dancing across a wall, the whispering of the wind through the trees causes two of the children to sound out the evening alarm. Yet not even Daddy's comforting words can calm the frightened sisters and soon they are scurrying for the safe haven of their parents' bed. What's a dad to do when his bed is full of sleeping offspring? Nothing but hunker down in a pint-sized bunk bed and make the best of it. When a driving need for companionship sends the last tot scampering into the tiny bed with Dad, Dad knows it's time for everyone to go back where they belong. By the time Mom returns home, all of her loved ones are snuggled up in their own beds just where they belong. Like her readers, the children of Bergman's tale know that Mom and Dad's bed offers sanctuary to every timid or lonely little soul. Her whimsical descriptions of the tykes snoozing in their beds, "quiet as a carrot," "cozy as a caterpillar," and "snug as a snail," are bound to elicit giggles. Newcomer Pottie's vividly hued illustrations are a vibrant counterpoint to the text. Her cartoon-style characters fill the pages with a benign, amiable presence. Perfect to share just before toddling off to the right bed. (Picture book. 3-7)Read full book review >