Mischievous Mary Margaret is an amusing picture book about a little girl who likes to play pranks and pick on others until finally she becomes the one who needs help.
Mary Margaret is so mean that the neighborhood kids refuse to play with her. Even her brother isn’t immune to her pranks. Noticing a wad of chewed gum on the ground, she gleefully drops it into his glass of milk, causing him to burst into tears when he discovers it. Although Mary Margaret gets hurt in the midst of the prank, she still doesn’t learn her lesson.
Then one day, Mary Margaret spends the afternoon stirring up trouble at the beach. When she kicks in a little boy’s sandcastle and dumps water on him, he takes chase, and soon she is lost. Finally, she learns an important truth: sometimes the one who plays tricks on others ends up being the one who gets hurt –or as the lifeguard who has been watching her antics on the beach tells her, “When you get so caught up in doing what’s wrong, you sometimes forget the path you were on.”
Gloria Ritchie smartly writes Mischievous Mary Margaret in lyrical rhyme, giving it a lighthearted feel while still teaching important lessons about etiquette and thoughtfulness. The colorful, if somewhat stock, pictures will keep younger children engaged, while older children can enjoy the rhymes. The book would be suitable for parents to read to their children, as well as for beginning readers to read on their own. It could also be used in a preschool or school setting to initiate discussion of appropriate behavior in group settings. (Note: the book would be more appealing to educators if Ritchie cleared up some minor copy editing issues.)
Also available in hardcover.