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ALL FOR ONE by Jill Murphy


by Jill Murphy & illustrated by Jill Murphy

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-7636-0785-1
Publisher: Candlewick

Murphy’s lovable little monster, Marlon (The Last Noo-Noo, 1995) returns in a heartfelt and ultimately triumphant tale about being excluded. Weary of playing alone, Marlon eagerly approaches the neighborhood children to join their games. However, while the trio may have such hilarious names such as Alligantina and Boomps-a-Daisy, their actions are not so amusing. Each time Marlon attempts to participate, the children abruptly change the venue, moving from Musketeers to Pirates to gymnastics in rapid succession. After several episodes of being deliberately left out of the play, Marlon hits upon the very idea to soothe his wounded self-esteem. Murphy’s shrewd tale illuminates a grievous yet common childhood dilemma and the elemental truth that is at the heart of this matter. Marlon’s determination to make his own fun has wondrous results; soon the trio is longingly watching Marlon frolic in his backyard “ocean” and eager to participate in his play. The crisp lines and vibrant tones of Murphy’s pen and colored-pencil illustrations make a vivid impact. Her detailed, imaginative drawings of the monsters add a comical flair to the tale, balancing out the poignancy and of the situation. Astutely conveying a vital life lesson with aplomb while avoiding any treacly sentimentalism, this is definitely to be shared with any child navigating the rocky waters of peer relations. (Picture book. 4-8)