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Mario Makes a Move by Jill McElmurry
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Mario Makes a Move

by Jill McElmurry

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Very Silly and even is informational about squirrels. Two Squirrels teach each other their favorite dance moves. Illustrations have a lot of movement. Makes it fun for the readers eye to follow and keeps them engaged. ( )
  Kathryn_Sommer | Jun 9, 2013 |
Amazing acrobatic squirrels. ( )
  Sullywriter | Apr 3, 2013 |
Warning: Sarcasm ahead.

Mario the squirrel "likes to invent amazing moves". There's an awesome full page spread of Mario's cool moves. His whole family think's he's amazing. All except Isabelle, who's obviously a math whiz (note the thick glasses and graph paper!). She's easily worked out Mario's moves, plus some cool moves of her own. "That's nice" she tells Mario politely.

After a demonstration of her own amazing move, Mario refuses to be friends with her anymore because A. she stole his move and B. she's not allowed to have a move. Only the amazing Mario is apparently allowed to have moves.

Isabelle points out, very reasonably, that all the animals have moves. She doesn't point out, but quite easily could have, that her move is nothing like Mario's, being much more difficult and involving advanced math as compared to Mario's, which is just a leap through the trees.

Mario goes into a depressed sulk and starts collecting "amazing sticks" that being the only thing he can think of that nobody else can do.

Isabelle, apparently realizing that she has stepped out of the natural order of things, then asks Mario to teach her his move (you know, the one she had previously mastered in, like, ten seconds flat? The one that was really simple compared to her own move?) and tells him how wonderful it was. She was wrong, it's not just nice, it's elegant and graceful! Only Mario can teach her how to jump from point A to point B. She'd probably be willing to do all his math for him if he'll just talk to her and be happy, thus justifying her empty existence without his friendship!

Mario graciously asks her to teach him her move as well. Then together they create even more amazing moves.

I bet when they went to college Isabella did all his research and wrote his papers, all while constantly assuring him that all she needed was to bask in his awesomeness and never get credited for any of her work.

Verdict: Of course I don't think the author deliberately set out to write a story with the message that girls have to constantly stroke boys' egos and can never be better than them or they'll get upset and - gasp - stop talking to them! She probably intended to point out that it's not necessary to be better than everyone and by working together you can do even more amazing things. But you know, group work isn't always better. I'm personally against teaching kids to downplay their own abilities and strengths so as not to make other kids feel bad, although I don't advocate boasting or going out of your way to make people feel inferior. But exactly what is Mario bringing to this equation, other than an over-sensitive ego, poor sportsmanship, and the need for someone to constantly assure him that he's amazing, even when he's not?

ISBN: 9780375868542; Published 2012 by Schwartz and Wade; Borrowed from the library
  JeanLittleLibrary | Sep 8, 2012 |
Mario likes to invent amazing moves, like the Super Looper, the Rocket to Mars, the Crazy Wave. As he soars through the air everyone exclaims, “Artistic!” “Astonishing!” “Artistic!” Everyone except his friend Isabelle. She says, “Nice.” What!? Mario just can’t handle nice, he knows his talent is unique and amazing. But when he challenges Isabelle, he finds she can perform his moves with equal agility. Not only that, but Isabelle shows him that he’s not the only one with moves; everyone in the forest can have a move. Mario doesn’t feel so amazing anymore. What’s a squirrel to do?

The text is mostly dialogue between the two friends and printed in large font for easy reading and following along. The tone is conversational and humorous and McElmurry manages to incorporate some great vocabulary words. The illustrations use an autumn palate of browns, oranges, and yellows, set against the faded gray-blue almost-winter sky. The squirrels are full of energy and personality. Mario may be a little egotistical, but smart and savvy Isabelle keeps him in check with an amused flick of her bushy tail. All the “moves” in the book include action lines and there are several “charts” on how to execute moves. The back of the book includes 20 facts about squirrels.

Full Review at Picture-Book-a-Day: http://picturebookaday.blogspot.com/2012/08/book-216-mario-makes-move-by-jill.ht...
  amy-picturebookaday | Aug 4, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375868542, Hardcover)

According to Publishers Weekly in a starred review, this picture book "capture[s] the exuberance of the creative spirit alongside the quirks of a character accepting his limitations." Mario is a squirrel who loves to invent amazing moves, like the Super Looper and Tail, Don't Fail. But though his parents ooh and ahh at whatever he does, his friend Isabelle is not so easily impressed. When she points out that anyone can have a move, Mario must find some other way to stand out.

Sometimes being amazing is hard work, as shown in this zany yet accessible picture book from Jill McElmurry, illustrator of The One and Only Marigold and Little Blue Truck. Young readers will instantly recognize themselves in Mario, as he searches for his one-of-a-kind talent. Here is a hilarious read-aloud that will have little ones oohing and ahhing—and trying out some moves of their own.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:09:24 -0400)

Mario and Isabelle, two squirrels, teach each other their amazing dance moves. Includes facts about squirrels.

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