Australian actress/author Isla Fisher's latest novel is an outrageously imaginative and original tale for kids ... and any adult who cares to join in. And I'm sure that given Ms Fisher's status as a Hollywood actress there will be plenty of grown up fans who are willing to do just that. Well, there is that, and a bright and colourful cover that's oddly reminiscent to Roald Dahl. (Which, I freely admit, really sucked me in. But I am a little odd like that.)
Marge in Charge is a hilarious tale of two ordinary kids who find themselves with one extraordinary babysitter. Told through the eyes of seven year old Jemima (who is the tallest girl in her class,) we experience the shock, and delight that Jemima and Jake experience when it turns out that their seemingly elderly and boring babysitter turns out to be a quirky member of royalty who has rainbow hair and a penchant for breaking rules and well, doing all the silly things that all kids would secretly like to do. (Such as eating nine slices of cake at a birthday party.) Split into three separate stories featuring Marge, Jemima and Jake, the whole thing reads like a fun tall tale. That said, although the stories are imaginative and contain an element of surprise, the stories are let down a little by the lack of suspense--there's no foreshadowing or chance for readers to wonder or guess at what Marge might do next. I also felt that the introduction in the first story was a little clumsy, though the writing itself improved in each separate story. Regardless, the book does everything it promises readers on the back cover and is told in an accessible, family friendly style making it perfect for parents to read out loud or for kids to read on their own. I also quite liked the idea that although this book is written by a celebrity, it's clear from the cover and blurb that the real star here is Marge and not the person who wrote it.
Good, clean fun. Recommended.