Books by Marilyn Hafner

PURIM PLAY by Roni Schotter
Released: March 1, 1998

A funny companion to Hanukkah! (1990) and Passover Magic (1995), by the same team. Here young Frannie is distraught because a cousin, who always takes the part of villain Haman in the annual family Purim play, has the flu, and her mother has invited a neighbor, eccentric old Mrs. Teplitzky, to join the family celebration and play the role. Mrs. Teplitzky (a dead ringer for Grandma Rose in Hanukkah!) turns out to have been an actress in her youth, makes up stagestruck Frannie as the most fetching Esther ever, and coaxes brother Ezra out of his wooden delivery of Mordechai's lines. The play is a rousing success, and by the end of the evening Frannie and Mrs. Teplitzky, with their mutual love of theater, are good friends. Another warm, amenable look at family life during a special holiday. (Picture book. 5-8) Read full book review >
NEXT YEAR I'LL BE SPECIAL by Patricia Reilly Giff
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

Marilyn lists her hopes for second grade, when mean Miss Minch will still be in first and her teacher will be smiley Miss Lark. First, Marilyn will be chosen as a helper; she'll move to the top group when someone tells her the hard words; once she gets the answers right, people will want to sit next to her and include her in their games. Marilyn's hopes are a believable mix of the real differences a wise, kind teacher can make and the kind of unrealistic dreams all children have; they're only more poignant when children, as in Marilyn's case, are less competent. An upbeat book with a valuable message that's delivered by implication. Hafner's cheerful cartoon-style illustrations depict Marilyn as animated (and almost smug) with her imagined success. (Picture book. 5-8) Read full book review >
CHATTERBOX JAMIE by Nancy Evans Cooney
Released: May 1, 1993

Jamie is full of questions at home; but when he starts nursery school, he clams up—totally. The teacher asks what he'd like to do; other children offer to share; Jamie watches and listens, but is silent until Dad picks him up. Then, as usual, he chatters about his day. On the second day, he joins in—without a word; weeks later, he whispers his secret to his baby sister: ``I don't know why I can't talk at school.'' The baby is the key— when a classmate's tiny brother visits school, Jamie finally opens up: ``I have a baby, too!'' There's an aura of warm acceptance here, while Hafner details Jamie's family and his welcoming school in cheerful illustrations, depicting the preschoolers with humorous affection. A drama that many young ones will recognize as just their size. (Picture book. 3-6) Read full book review >
ME BABY! by Riki Levinson
Released: May 1, 1991

Bearing gifts, the aunts and uncles arrive and are greeted with open arms by toddler Danny. ``Me baby,'' Danny keeps saying, as one relative after another kisses him or gives him a pat and then quickly moves on to the business at hand: fixing a celebratory meal and greeting Danny's mother and his new sister. Danny is persistent, tugging at skirts as everyone gets to hold the baby. At last, he screams, and his parents finally notice and understand: Danny wants to hold the baby, too—and so he does. Hafner's expressive illustrations are just right: the joyful bustle, the adults' obliviousness to Danny's real concern, the body language of the inarticulate little boy—all are lightly but affectionately satirized. A disarming slice of life. (Picture book. 2-6) Read full book review >