Synopses & Reviews
According to Publishers Weekly
in a starred review, this picture book "capture[s] the exuberance of the creative spirit alongside the quirks of a character accepting his limitations." Mario is a squirrel who loves to invent amazing moves, like the Super Looper and Tail, Don't Fail. But though his parents ooh
at whatever he does, his friend Isabelle is not so easily impressed. When she points out that anyone
can have a move, Mario must find some other way to stand out.
Sometimes being amazing is hard work, as shown in this zany yet accessible picture book from Jill McElmurry, illustrator of The One and Only Marigold and Little Blue Truck. Young readers will instantly recognize themselves in Mario, as he searches for his one-of-a-kind talent. Here is a hilarious read-aloud that will have little ones oohing and ahhing—and trying out some moves of their own.
"Who needs a dance floor? Mario the squirrel busts out his signature Jitterbug, Super Looper, Arch 'n' Hiss, and other amazing feats in his natural habitat: the tree. While family members heap on the praise ('Astonishing!' 'Artistic!'), Mario's pal Isabelle isn't as impressed ('That's nice'). She's busy crafting complicated moves of her own. Faced with not being as unique as he thought, Mario feels the wrong kind of funk coming on. But in true friend fashion, Isabelle knows how to help him get his groove and his moves back. In Mario, McElmurry (Who Stole Mona Lisa?) introduces a seemingly egotistical artiste who's actually quite likable. Her text and watercolor artwork capture the exuberance of the creative spirit alongside the quirks of a character accepting his limitations. Set in a forest of golden fall foliage, accented by some brown acorns and a supportive (and agile) woodland cast, the scenes will have readers longing for crisp autumn air. Sketched blueprints for various moves and an end page of facts labeled 'If You Are a Squirrel' are among many memorable humorous details. Ages 3 7. Agent: Wernick and Pratt Agency." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
JILL MCELMURRY is the author and illustrator of I'm Not a Baby!, Mad About Plaid, and Mess Pets. Her art for Florence Parry Heide's The One and Only Marigold, "infuses even more humor into the already laugh-out-loud stories," said Kirkus Reviews, in a starred review. She is also the illustrator of Alice Schertle's Little Blue Truck, Lillian Moore's I'm Small and Other Verses, Dayle Ann Dodds's The Kettles Get New Clothes, Ruthie Knapp's Who Stole Mona Lisa?, and Stephanie Spinner's It's A Miracle!: A Hanukkah Storybook. Visit her at jillmcelmurry.com.