Mummy and Daddy are heading out which means a babysitter is needed to look after Jemima and Jake. On first appearance, Marge doesn’t look too promising. She is very old and very, very small. But once she’s alone with the kids, Marge reveals her rainbow hair and has a mischievous glint in her eye. There’s strict rules to follow on the fridge but Marge has her own ideas of how babysitting should be done and the children are in for a wild time…
These three short illustrated stories of family fun, mischief and mess starring Marge, the very small adult with a very big personality, are an absolute riot. Marge is the babysitter that every child wants and quite possibly needs. Quite frankly she should know better but once the adults have left she behaves badly, breaks the rules and fully embraces her inner child. As Jake quite rightly observes, ‘We have a royal babysitter, but we have to babysit her!'
All sorts of crazy antics ensue as Marge babysits in her own unique and quirky way, often leaving the children to clean up the mess that she has created whilst she has a lie down to recover. When not keeping Jake and Jemima entertained with stories of her previous life as a royal duchess she’s letting the children make chocolate soup for dinner, saving the day at a washed-out birthday party with magic tricks and turning a school music rehearsal into a free-for-all out on the playground.
You certainly won’t find Marge’s actions in any parenting manual but there is method to her madness. She manages to calm Jake down and achieve the impossible; getting him to eat broccoli, wash his hair and wear shoes to school. Meanwhile, seven-year-old sensible Jemima who is trying to keep a lid on proceedings and occasionally offers much-needed parenting advice also benefits from Marge’s shenanigans as worries give way and she comes out of her shell.
Glorious anarchic fun!
Recommended for 6+.