Jill Murphy is one of Britain's most treasured author-illustrators. She wrote and illustrated her first book, the bestselling The Worst Witch, while still only eighteen, and went on to create the award-winning Large family series, which has sold over five million copies worldwide and been adapted for television. Jill's other characters include a small monster called Marlon who starred in the acclaimed picture books The Last Noo-Noo and All For One. Jill lives in Cornwall.
Mrs. Large, that peerless pachyderm parent last seen in Five Minutes' Peace , makes a return engagement. This time, she decides that she's just a tad too elephantine (as her baby succinctly puts it, ``Mummy's got wobbly bits''). Accordingly, she dons an enormous orange sweatsuit emblazoned with the word ``FIT'' and puts her reluctant husband and the four little Larges on a diet. There's watercress soup, grated carrots and other unappetizing fare, as well as lots of jogging. Nothing seems to work, however, and the fitness kick is undermined by the arrival of a cake from Granny. None of the Larges can resist its sugary allure, and in a hilarious climax they unwittingly rendezvous in the kitchen for a midnight snack. Murphy's drawings are both delicate and droll (the sight of Mrs. Large tiptoeing determinedly to the kitchen in nightgown and curlers is particularly memorable), and the tale's message--that it's important to love yourself the way you are--will strike a universal chord in readers. Ages 4-8. (Nov.)
Family life is beautifully observed with a humour that appeals to both adult and child. * The Daily Telegraph *