MARVIN AND THE MEAN WORDS by Suzy Kline

MARVIN AND THE MEAN WORDS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Marvin Higgins, something of a bully in Kline's Mary Marony and the Snake (1992) and other stories about Mary Marony, gets a book (and proposed series) of his own. Marvin decides he hates his teacher, Mrs. Bird, when he thinks he overhears her making unpleasant remarks about him. He also decides to show her just how wrong she is; a class trip to a museum gives him a chance to shine. A bully as the protagonist is an idea with real kid-appeal, but Marvin has been considerably toned down; his worst act is imitating Mary's stutter. As for the story of misunderstanding a teacher's remarks--it was done very well in Beverly Cleary's Ramona the Pest, and this version is bland and predictable in comparison. The black-and-white illustrations add humor, but they're not enough to save the story.

Pub Date: April 14th, 1997
Page count: 80pp
Publisher: Putnam