Miss Mary Mack by Hoberman and Westcott – Book Review

Miss Mary Mack by Mary Ann Hoberman and Nadine Bernard WestcottMiss Mary Mack by Mary Ann Hoberman and Nadine Bernard Westcott is a children’s book based on a kids clapping game of the same name.

I’d actually never heard of the song before looking up information about the book. Although I never wanted to play clapping games as a child, Arya might force me to play some with her and reading these types of books will help me look less foolish when I begrudgingly play them with her.

The story makes absolutely no sense to me. I doubt many adults will like the text either. However, children will love the sing-song rhymes and constant repetition throughout the story.

The book is marketed as part of a sing-along stories series of nursery rhymes by the publisher, Little, Brown and Company. Many of the other books in the series are far more familiar to me, but they are also designed in the same style.

Since the text is identical to the most common version of the nursery rhyme, the authors use a small font and place all text in the corners of a page. The rest of each page is dominated by huge illustrations filled with various colors and ridiculous pictures.

Arya liked the picture of the elephant falling into a hole in the yard because it also showed flying people, colorful bottles, and the big surprised face of an old lady. I liked the next page with a picture of the silly elephant covered in mud and getting a big hug.

As part of a clapping game, Miss Mary Mack will be popular with little girls of a wide age range. I’m not convinced that boys will like the book once they get old enough to understand the nonsensical story.

Miss Mary Mack costs (including shipping) $6.99 new and $3.99 used from Amazon.