Marge in charge by Isla Fisher
Ill. by Eglantine Ceulemans. Piccadilly Press, 2016. ISBN
(Age: 6-8) Highly recommended. Marvellous Marge is a babysitter extraordinaire, tiny in stature, with rainbow dyed hair and a multitude of magical stories, tricks and unusual child minding techniques; she sweeps in to Jake and Jemima's ordinary house and takes charge. Mum and Dad are off for a special dinner and there is a list on the fridge for this babysitter to follow. Jake's hair needs a wash and he must eat his broccoli with his macaroni and cheese. Of course, older sister Jemima knows these are all things her little brother refuses to do. Marge turns bath time into a wonderful game with bubbles everywhere from full bottles of shampoo and a tub that overflows; somehow, Jake's hair turns out squeaky clean. Marge is a force to be reckoned with, leaving messes in her wake, she turns dinnertime into a royal dinner party; even the dog and pet snails become dinner guests.
Marge's second babysitting adventure involves taking Jake to his best friend Theo's fifth birthday in the park. The tiny babysitter saves the day with her magic tricks, face painting, rescuing the rain-drenched jumping castle and of course plenty of tall tales about Marge's life at the royal palace. She has an irreverent, slightly cheeky and at times, laughingly naughty approach to childminding and both Jake and Jemima love her.
In the third short story, Marge at large at school is another fun-filled day, here she helps Jake conquer his fears, wear his new school shoes and learn to enjoy playing a musical instrument. Just like The Pied Piper, Marge takes over music practice and creates an amazing band with everyone playing and having fun.
Isla Fisher has created a wildly imaginative and engaging protagonist whose witty dialogue and amazing stories of her menagerie of pets and palace life are enchanting. Eglantine Ceulemans' line drawings bring Marge to life with her crazy hair, creative costumes and her unique style of childminding. This is a brilliant read aloud story for junior primary classes and to share at home; children will love Marge's distinctive way of engaging with Jake and Jemima.