Marvin Gets MAD! by Joseph Theobald

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Marvin Gets MAD! by Joseph Theobald

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A gem of a book for anyone experiencing the Terrible Twos (and Threes). Marvin has temper tantrums becuase Molly has eaten his apple. Recommended.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: July 2008
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 978-0747594864

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My first thought when I looked at this book was that the sheep on the front looked, well, rather cross. In fact, he looked mad about something. What could it be? One spring morning Marvin was in his perfectly green field when he found a tree of lusciously juicy apples. There was one apple which he desperately wanted, but no matter how high he jumped he couldn't quite reach it. He hoped that it would fall off and he waited, and waited. Eventually he fell asleep…

…and when he woke up the apple had gone and Molly was eating it. Quite reasonably, she pointed out that she didn't know that Marvin wanted it, but Marvin is not to be placated. He gets angry and cross and then - he gets mad.

Marvin was so mad… he grew MAD teeth, MAD horns, MAD feet and a MAD tail.

I WANT MY APPLE!! he screamed and Molly does not improve matters when she suggests that he should calm down. Marvin goes on an orgy of destruction and finally ends up falling into a very dark place.

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking about that toddler on the supermarket floor, tears streaming down his face, heels drumming the floor and screaming that he wants, well whatever it was that he wanted and can't have this very minute. That's what's happened to Marvin and he's ended up in that very dark place that toddlers go to when their immaturity gets the better of them. It usually happens in places like supermarkets because that's where they're likely to be a bit tired and there are a lot of things around which they're not supposed to touch.

Joseph Theobald has even managed to capture that red mist which seems to envelop children when a tantrum comes on and your adorable child turns into a screaming monster with horns and a forked tail. Tantrums are painful and embarrassing for an adult and it's easy to forget that they're distressing for a child too. Marvin Gets Mad! is a gentle message to toddlers that they're unlikely to achieve anything by having a tantrum and that they'll end up in a very dark place which is difficult to get out of on their own. There's also a twist at the end which shows that some things never change.

It done in a way that will have children and adults laughing. The text is delightfully easy to read aloud and the illustrations in bright colours grab and keep the attention. They're sharp and clear, focusing attention on the point of the story. As a bonus there's a sheet of stickers at the back of the book. It's not the usual half dozen but a generous page full of stickers of varying sizes which will allow for a lot of play after the book has been read.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

For another book about tantrums we can recommend Banana by Ed Vere.

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Buy Marvin Gets MAD! by Joseph Theobald at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Marvin Gets MAD! by Joseph Theobald at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Marvin Gets MAD! by Joseph Theobald at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Marvin Gets MAD! by Joseph Theobald at


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