Meet Marigold

[ 1 ] March 18, 2009 |

By Nancy King

The One and Only MarigoldDon’t you find that there are so many children’s books and yet so few that are really, remarkably, read-them-again-and-again good?

Well, get your hands on a copy of The One and Only Marigold by Florence Parry Heide. It’s actually four short stories in one, centered on the irresistible–and incorrigible–Marigold, whose last hobby was inventing ugly faces. I adore her because she’s the anti-heroine, in the grand tradition of Eloise and Olivia. The first thing we learn about her is that she doesn’t agree with her mother or her father or her second-best friend, Maxine. But she agrees with herself, “and that was the important thing.” She’s so sassy and sure of herself that it’s hard to argue. We also learn that her best friend is an old purple coat that she wears inside, outside, in the shower, and to bed. When her mother insists she needs a new coat, Marigold is aghast and refuses to surrender the old one (“I’m a very loyal person,” she insists). And when Maxine gets miffed because she’s second on Marigold’s list of friends (after the beloved old coat), Marigold doesn’t apologize or make nice. Instead, she makes a new list: Ways to bug Maxine.

She may not always be agreeable or obedient, but for my money, Marigold is a wonderful role model for young girls because she’s clever, confident, complicated, and honest. And that’s the important thing.

Details:
The One and Only Marigold by Florence Parry Heide
$16.99 Random House

Category: books / stories


Nancy King

about the author ()

Kidoinfo Editor Nancy King is a recent transplant to Rhode Island, having moved here from San Francisco with her husband and daughter. A native New Yorker, Nancy was eager to be closer to her family and to reconnect with the city that was her home for thirty-plus years. She works as a freelance book editor on projects ranging from health and fitness to pop culture and kids' titles. Particular favorites have included The Pop Up Book of Celebrity Meltdowns and Cowboy Boots: Art and Soul.

Comments (1)

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  1. Barbara Margolis says:

    Without giving out much of the story this review gives the book such a delicious flavor that I know that my grandchildren will love it. Who hasn’t had or wanted a purple coat?

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