Meet Emma. She’s a delightful, spunky third-grader with four siblings, a pet ferret named Marmaduke (who has a talent from escaping from his cage), an airline pilot dad, a busy working mom, and a new nanny. At the beginning of this series, Emma is worried: Marmaduke, her ferret, has gotten out again–and her mother has threatened to take him back to the pet store the next time that happened; she needs to sneak the ferret to school to use for a presentation; and the new nanny her mother hired is starting today. The kids expect their new nanny to be like all the others: “round and short and plain and horribly old looking.” But then Annie O’Reilly walks in: young, tall, thin, with curly red hair and a lilting Irish accent. And to make things even better, she likes ferrets (and even helps Emma slip Marmaduke into her backpack just before the school bus arrives).
This is just the beginning of the O’Fallon family’s adventures (and misadventures) with Annie. While she is no Mary Poppins or Nanny McPhee – she manages to get locked out of the house –Annie works her way into the hearts of Emma and her siblings.
Patricia Hermes has created a funny, heartwarming series with a heroine sure to be popular with girls who are fans of Ramona and Mallory. Emma’s family, while not perfect, is a loving, happy one. Five novels have been published to date, with a sixth scheduled for publication in April, 2011. 106 pages. Ages 7-10
Recommended by Barbara Karp, Librarian.