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A VERY MARLEY CHRISTMAS by John Grogan

A VERY MARLEY CHRISTMAS

By John Grogan (Author) , Richard Cowdrey (Illustrator)

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-06-137292-6
Publisher: HarperCollins

Grogan continues his Marley franchise with his third children’s book about the boisterous yellow lab, rearranging the chronology of the family history slightly so that there are already two children in the family when Marley arrives. During the Christmas preparations, Marley jumps in the box of ornaments, runs off with the strings of lights, knocks over the tree and then uses it for his “indoor bathroom.” He pulls down decorations, runs through a painting project in one delightfully messy illustration and finally shakes snow all over the family’s new toboggan in a conclusion that falls a little flat. The story is smoothly told but not in a particularly funny or original way, and the dialogue includes a lot of unintelligible and annoying baby talk from the toddler son. The humorous illustrations of Marley are the volume’s best feature, but they really portray just a string of typical incidences of Marley misbehavior rather than a meaningful story. It may be time for this overworked pup to take a rest. (Picture book. 3-7)