As a father of two young girls, I'm always on the lookout for new childrens' books. And that brought me to the wonderful book titled The One and Only Marigold by Florence Parry Heide. At age 89, Heide has written more books for kids than I can count. And helping her out on this book is illustrator Jill McElmurry, who has once again done some amazing work.
Marigold is a complicated little girl. (And as the father of two little girls, I can attest that most if not all little girls are complicated.) She has a few quirks. She has a unique way of expressing herself for her best friend – her purple coat – and her second best friend, Maxine. And she definitely has a few opinions about the way the world should work.
To say the least, there's a lot about Marigold that made us all smile. My girls enjoyed the stories, and my wife and I had to chuckle a few times about similarities between Marigold and two other little girls we know.
The One and Only Marigold is a collection of four connected stories about Marigold.
"Marigold's New Coat" explored the adventure Marigold and her mother had while searching for a new coat. This was not something Marigold wished to do, as she was very loyal to her old purple coat. And in the end, there was a compromise when she finally found a coat she could live with… once she accessorized properly, of course.
Then in "Marigold's New Hobby" we learned about a few of Marigold's hobbies, including making lists of things. We really liked her lists of Favorite Foods (popcorn sandwiches, chocolate-covered chocolate, and candy soup!) and her lists of things she would never eat (jellyfish soup, worm juice, and fried pimples – yuck!). But when it came to a list of her friends, her second best friend Maxine was not happy she was a notch below Marigold's old purple coat.
In "Marigold's Special Surprise Treasure Stand," Marigold gets industrious to compete with her friend Maxine when Maxine opens a lemonade stand – and then "Every Package a Surprise" stand was born. For five cents, she'd give her customers a prettily wrapped box with a special surprise. Maxine was definitely surprised when she bought a few packages!
And finally, in "Marigold's New Dress," we learned that Marigold had quite a unique fashion sense and that Maxine was a very good friend. Of all the stories, this one was our favorite.
Heide and McElmurry have come up with a fun, unique character for The One and Only Marigold and I know everyone at my house hopes there are more adventures for the spunky little Marigold!