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Mary and Martha Hardcover – August, 1995

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-3?This enlarged and modernized retelling of a Bible story from the book of Luke concerns two sisters of different temperaments. Martha the worker and worrier disapproves of Mary the dreamer and listener. Although both young women are hospitable when Jesus comes to visit, Mary's way appears to be the favored one?she is able to hear His teachings, while Martha is too busy. The theme and the questions it raises are comparable to Aesop's "The Ant and the Grasshopper" and to Leo Lionni's modern fable Frederick (Knopf, 1967). The cartoonlike illustrations are bold and lively, portraying earnest and gloomy Martha with her broom and sweet, lively Mary playing and reading books. This story would provide food for thought and discussion in Christian education collections, and may be of use in large public libraries.?Carolyn Jenks, First Parish Unitarian Church, Portland, ME
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Ages 4^-9. Figley presents a lively retelling of the biblical tale of Mary and Martha, a story seldom seen in picture-book form. We follow the daily activities of two very different sisters: Martha--always busy cleaning, cooking, and shopping--and Mary, who would rather read, write, strum the harp, and play hide-and-seek with the local children. When their friend Jesus comes to visit, their differences culminate in conflict: Martha resents Mary's listening to Jesus' teachings while Martha cleans and cooks. Jesus reminds her that seeking the life of the spirit is the better choice. In turn, Mary sees Martha's need for a break, and each girl eventually finds balance in life. Richly hued drawings enhance this bright and joyful interpretation, with Martha's world-weary cat and Mary's frolicking dog adding a nice bit of contrast. Shelley Townsend-Hudson

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More About the Author

I have fond memories of summer visits to my grandparents in Hannibal, Missouri. Grandma and Grandpa Priests' grocery store featured a candy case chock full of wax lips, licorice sticks and jawbreakers. Grandma and Grandpa Rhodes' farm delighted me with cute, baby calves and garden-fresh corn on the cob. I love to write about ordinary children experiencing exciting events in our country's history. I hope that when young readers finish one of my books they realize that history is much more than facts and dates. It's filled with children's hopes and dreams.

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