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Mary Had a Little Ham Hardcover – September 2, 2003


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3-In this paean to pork puns, Palatini presents the story of Stanley Snoutowski, a young pig who longs to see his name in lights. Encouraged by his friend Mary, he moves to New York City and experiences the typical struggles many young actors go through: cattle-call auditions (with actual cattle, of course) and jobs waiting tables and driving a cab, until his big break-a chance meeting with the legendary Broadway producers Hoggers and Hammerswine. From then on, Stanley is a star, in productions of South Pigcific, The Pig and I, Pigmalion, Pork Chop on a Hot Tin Plate, and, finally, Hamlet. The color cartoon illustrations mesh well with the text, especially the promotional material for Stanley's plays. But the story as a whole is problematic. Readers expecting a connection to the classic nursery rhyme will be disappointed, as that link is quickly dropped. While the Broadway story is clever, many of the puns are unlikely to be appreciated or understood by the audience, and those who do understand them are more likely to groan than laugh. For aficionados of pigs and puns only.
Ellen A. Greever, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 1-3. What if Mother Goose goofed, and Mary had a ham rather than a lamb? Enter Stanley Snoutowski, a pig who craves the limelight. Stanley struts his stuff for Mary, but they both know he's destined for something bigger: Broadway! Once there, his pride is dealt a few solid blows, but Mary's unswerving faith in him and Stanley's own gumption help him rise to stardom. Palatini milks the pig premise for all its worth ("spigtacular!" "snoutstanding!"), and her verbal showboating ("he pondered his portly profile") does get a little tiresome at times. However, Francis' artwork is a hoot: he spoofs familiar Broadway posters and depicts primping thespians in a "cattle call" scene that winks at the triumph of vanity over indignity. Fans of Palatini's energetic storytelling will welcome this felicitous new pairing, which will work well with Robert Kinerk's Clorinda [BKL N 1 03] for an eccentric storytime about livestock aspiring to stardom. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 660L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (September 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786805668
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786805662
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,391,705 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By BookBuzz on December 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Reading Level: Ages 4-8
Mary's little porker was a real ham - an actor that is - and you can't keep someone with that much talent down on the farm.
I took a stack of picture books to a restaraunt one noon so I could catch up with my review back log. At one point, the manager walked over and asked what was so funny for I was laughing out loud at this Mickey Rooneyesque from-the-farm-to-fame-on-broadway opus. However, I wonder if most kids will really appreciate how funny this book actualy is. Even the wonderful illustrations are dripping with theatrical humor - particularly the page of posters for such smash hits as The Pork Loin King, and Hamadeus. Heck, forget about the kids, get this book for yourself.
- KB Shaw, Publisher
SPECTRUM Children's Book Club
[...]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kelli on July 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is another great adaptation of a classic story. Mary has a ham instead of a lamb. This ham is destined for showbiz, maybe in "Cinderswine". It has puns and jokes that will keep adults chuckling, but kids will like it, too.
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By WonderWoman on October 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
My son and I loved the story of Mary and her pig, Stanley Snoutowski. It's such a cute little twist on the classic nursery rhyme. It has good exposure to idioms and vocabulary. Great for ages 4-8 and parents will love it too. We have read it over and over and over.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read this book last year in the library to my favorite little 4 year old, as she giggled I laughed along with her! I bought it for my youngest child, 18 years of age, who will pursue musical theater in college. This is a perfect little story!
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