Our new feature…five books on a specific topic, with a short synopsis and link to the book in the catalog. 5 Books–One Old, One New, One Popular with Kids, One Well-Reviewed, and One Favorite. (But you’ll have to guess which is which)!
This week…we all know Mary Poppins, but did you know there are several other famous (or infamous!) magical nannies and babysitters in kids books? Here are 5…
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5 Books Featuring…Magical Nannies!
Bland, Christianna. The Collected Tales of Nurse Matilda
Mr. and Mrs. Brown were forever having trouble with their numerous and incredibly naughty children . . . until the day Nurse Matilda entered their lives. The Brown children are terribly, terribly, unbelievably naughty. All the nannies and nursery-maids and governesses in the directory are called upon to implement some kind of order in the house but, inevitably, they are soon driven to distraction and of course leave having had absolutely no positive effect on the children’s indefatigable resource of mischief and anti-social conduct – all much to Mr and Mrs Brown’s horror and dismay. But apparently there is one last resort…Nurse Matilda.
A contemporary of Mary Poppins, Nurse Matilda became Nanny McPhee in the movies. (But the books are better!)
Fisher, Isla. Marge in Charge
Jemima and Jake Button don’t know what to make of their new babysitter, Marge: She’s not tall enough to ride a rollercoaster and, when she first arrives, she’s dressed like a grandma and looks very serious. But as soon as Mommy and Dad are gone, mischievous Marge lets down her rainbow hair and the adventures begin. Jemima and Jake aren’t supposed to shoot apple juice out of water guns, eat pancakes off the ceiling, or throw impromptu concerts during music class–but with Marge here, everything’s gone topsy-turvy! Can they have this much fun and still finish everything on Mommy’s list before their parents come home to discover what’s been going on?
In these three madcap stories, featuring zany illustrations by Eglantine Ceulemans, it’s obvious that everything’s way more fun when Marge is in charge.
Green, Phyllis. Eating Ice Cream with a Werewolf
Brad knows that Phoebe Hadley isn’t a monster, but she’s definitely not your run-of-the-mill babysitter either. She likes to try things when she’s taking care of Brad and his sister, Fat Nancy. So it’s no surprise that she arrives with Dr. Curmudgeion’s Book of Magic when their parents go to Bermuda. Neither Phoebe nor Brad expect much when they cast their first spell, but a week of mysterious coincidences gives Brad a healthy respect for Dr. Curmudgeon and Phoebe. Is it magic? Or just happenstance?
Quirky drawings by Patti Stren and some judicious application of imagination will make this a fun read-aloud for families.
Spratt, R. A. The Adventures of Nanny Piggins
The woman was not a woman. She was a pig. A common, pink farm pig. The type bacon came from.”Good evening, I am Nanny Piggins,” said Nanny Piggins the pig.
When stingy Mr. Green planted a Nanny Wanted sign on his front lawn for his three children, he had no idea his ad would be answered by a pig. A fabulously sassy and impeccably dressed pig! With her insatiable urge to eat chocolate (and feed chocolate to everyone she loves), her high-flying spirit, and her unending sense of fun, Nanny Piggins takes Derrick, Samantha, and Michael on a year of surprises, yummy treats, and adventures they’ll never forget.
Paired with Dan Santat’s charming illustrations, comedian and children’s TV writer R.A. Spratt’s wildly funny debut novel will have adults and kids alike laughing and rooting for the feisty porcine nanny and her three lovable human charges.
Wood, Maryrose. The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling
Found running wild in the forest of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children: Alexander keeps his siblings in line with gentle nips; Cassiopeia has a bark that is (usually) worse than her bite; and Beowulf is alarmingly adept at chasing squirrels.
Luckily, Miss Penelope Lumley is no ordinary governess. Only fifteen years old and a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, Penelope embraces the challenge of her new position. Though she is eager to instruct the children in Latin verbs and the proper use of globes, first she must help them overcome their canine tendencies. But mysteries abound at Ashton Place: Who are these three wild creatures, and how did they come to live in the vast forests of the estate? Why does Old Timothy, the coachman, lurk around every corner? Will Penelope be able to teach the Incorrigibles table manners and socially useful phrases in time for Lady Constance’s holiday ball? And what on earth is a schottische?
Humorous antics and a climactic cliff-hanger ending will keep children turning pages and clamoring for the next volume, while more sophisticated readers will take away much more. Frequent plate-sized illustrations by Jon Klassen add wit and period flair.