Marvin's Funny Dance by Sarah McConnell

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Marvin's Funny Dance by Sarah McConnell

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Jo Heffer
Reviewed by Jo Heffer
Summary: A very enjoyable picture book with a loveable main character who I am sure will appeal to children and adults of all ages. Every page is a delight and it's the sort of book your child will want you to read again and again.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: January 2008
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
ISBN: 978-0340931882

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Marvin's Funny Dance is a wonderful picture book which tells the story of a rather cheeky and mischievous meerkat. It's set in Africa where Marvin lives with his rather large family and he's always expected to conform. However, Marvin is unable to do that especially as he loves to dance and play jokes which always seem to get him into trouble. One day though, his antics actually help to save the day when he helps the family to deal with two bully buzzards by distracting them as the others build a big 'meerkatapault' to pelt them with dung balls to send them on their way. After the plan works, Marvin is a hero and all of the other meerkats want to be like him!

My four year old daughter really enjoyed me reading this book with her. She absolutely loved Marvin and found his antics very funny. Early on in the story, we see Marvin dancing and the accompanying description tells us that he began wiggling his hips, waggling his toes, rubbing his tummy and touching his nose. Now every time we read the story she has to join in with these actions too which always leads to lots of giggling on her part and mine!

We like the way the pages are set out as there is a mixture of text and illustrations. The illustrations are wonderful as they are very humourous especially the depiction of all the different meerkats with incredibly expressive faces. They all have big wide eyes and contented smiles which make them look as loveable as the ones we might see in a zoo! There is a lot of detail and things to talk about on every page and every time we have read the book my daughter has pointed out something new.

The language used is quite accessible for young children but there are also some delightful descriptions such as when the family is building the meerkatapult. We are told that they pulled and they puffed, they heaved and they huffed until there it was - a spectacular bird-scaring contraption. This is typical of the language used which is very descriptive, sometimes using alliteration or rhyme for effect.

I also like the font that is used and the way the words are set out on the page. The writing looks a little like a child's handwriting which is very appealing to my daughter and some of the words are emboldened or larger than others which helps me when I am reading to her as it draws attention to the words I need to emphasise. Sometimes the text is set out in straight lines but at other times the words weave and swirl over the page. My daughter likes to trace the words as we read and when there is the description of Marvin dancing, it looks just like the words are dancing too!

There is also quite a lot of dialogue in the book. When reading to my daughter, I enjoy this because it means that I can put on lots of different voices. There is a chief meerkat called Thelma who gets very cross with Marvin at one time, and I definitely enjoy putting on my extremely cross voice! Of course, my daughter knows I am only acting!

Overall this book is a lot of fun and it is what I would call a happy book! It has a happy ending and a loveable main character whom I'm sure most children will adore. If you and your children enjoy this book, you will probably also enjoy ROAR! by Margaret Mayo and Alex Ayliffe.

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

Buy Marvin's Funny Dance by Sarah McConnell at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Marvin's Funny Dance by Sarah McConnell at

Buy Marvin's Funny Dance by Sarah McConnell at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Marvin's Funny Dance by Sarah McConnell at


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