Kirkus Reviews QR Code
LITTLE MARTIN by Barbara Baker


by Barbara Baker & illustrated by Vera Rosenberry

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: March 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-525-47027-1
Publisher: Dutton

Little Martin has a sizzle of orange hair, jug ears, and the devil in his eye. Little Martin is trouble, and this team knows just how to present the rapscallion. Martin is a merry prankster, fully aware of his desires and guarding his territory like a junkyard dog. Let his mother try to fool him by pretending to eat the eggs he has spurned. “Yummy, yummy, yummy,” says his mother. Martin pretends to eat them, too, and then demands a banana. Martin won’t share toys, unless it gets him out of a bit of hot water, or, of course, they are someone else’s toys. Martin knows how to say “no,” but has some trouble with “thank you”; “mine” readily trips off his tongue, though “share” appears to be a foreign language. Martin is a prize—as is the terrific typeface, perfect for starting readers, and Rosenberry’s artwork, with its wobbly, 3-D quality (check out Martin’s monster face, his eyes bulging right off the page)—as long as he is not your very own bundle of joy. But then, he so often is, and that’s what makes him elemental: there will be no closure with Martin, no glad summation of lessons learned, or behavior forever modified. Nope. Martin is a reprobate, fielding the consequences of his acts like a major leaguer, then tossing them right back at you. (Easy reader. 4-8)