Books by Marjorie Dennis Murray

HIPPO GOES BANANAS! by Marjorie Dennis Murray
Released: March 1, 2006

Wasting his considerable talent on a clumsy, illogical tale, O'Malley casts big, rotund, comically frantic-looking animals knocking down trees, dashing hither and yon or tumbling down a steep hillside. Seeing Hippo flailing about suffering from a toothache, Cuckoo flies off to spread the alarm. Each listener in succession adds a fanciful bit to the report, until Hippo's charged with trying to flood the entire Serengeti—whereupon his concerned "friends" gather round, and ultimately push him off a tall cliff. Down he falls, through no fewer than eight sideways panels—after which his tooth pops out, and he complains that now he has a headache. A communal nuzzle provides a cozy closing note, but such similar tales as Helen Ketteman's Armadillo Tattletale, illustrated by Keith Graves (2000), or Jonathan Meres's Big Bad Rumor, illustrated by Jacqueline East (2000), will play better, even with uncritical readers. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
DON’T WAKE UP THE BEAR! by Marjorie Dennis Murray
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

In the cumulative-tale tradition of creatures sheltering in a small space, Murray packs five wild animals into a snow-covered cave with a hibernating bear. As each animal enters the cave, complaining of the cold, the refrain goes: " ‘You may come in,' whispered the hare. ‘But don't wake up the bear.' " The last animal is a little mouse with the sniffles who sneezes in the bear's ear and causes him to wake up with a huge growl. The animals scatter, and in a satisfying conclusion, the bear is shown finding something to eat, fortunately not a fellow creature, but berries poking out of the snow. Wittmann's winsome watercolors provide appealing animal characters and a suitably scary bear, with double-page spreads that will work well with a group. Additional creative touches include some key phrases set in wintry blue and pale blue snowflakes decorating the white space around the text. The pitch-perfect text is skillfully told with repeated phrases and a polished rhythm that will make this a natural addition to story hours with themes of bears, winter, or animals seeking shelter. (Picture books. 3-6)Read full book review >