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Marc Brown and R.L. Stein Meld Genres to Create Captivating Children's Book

Kira Zizzo

Envision the seamless melding of opposite genres combining the labor of 2 opposite world-renowned literary geniuses to rise the phoenix of a masterpiece from the ashes of the gears grinding in the minds of R.L. Stine and Marc Brown. That vision has become a reality with the children’s book “Mary McScary”, cleverly written by R.L. Stine and stunningly illustrated by Marc Brown.

Marc Brown and R.L. Stine were chosen by Laura Bush to represent the United States at a children’s literature event in Moscow, Russia hosted by Putin’s ex-wife. After being friends for a while, R.L. Stine commented,”When having dinner with our wives, Marc said that we should do a book together.” They both decided that would be a good idea and set up a meeting with Scholastic. R.L. Stine had the idea of introducing a not bossy, but assertive, scary girl resembling the legend of Bloody Mary. Stine titled it “Scary Mary” and his wife who also happens to be his editor changed it to “Mary McScary”. Marc Brown said that she is,”Just like a little Joan Crawford, or a young Beyoncè.”

R.L. Stine wrote five different versions of “Mary McScary.” Marc Brown went through some labor-intensive work as it took him six months to create the art for this book. He used x-acto knives and razor blades to cut precise pieces of paper to create each and every illustrative detail for this book. When creating the art for “Mary McScary”, Marc Brown hid special, detail-oriented aspects to the art of this book that you have to pay attention to find. For example, an Early Ann Folk Portrait hanging on the walls as a tribute to the folk art he and his wife collect.

This dynamic duo introduced “Mary McScary” to their enthusiastic fans at the Colfax Tattered Cover. This book portrayed the versatility of two worlds colliding. The Marc Brown characters so wholesome and full of humility and the embodiment of suspense and malevolence of R.L. Stine’s style of work to weave the perfect yin-yang. The end of the story clearly had a taste of Arthur, cute and funny, leaving you with a smile and chuckle.

This event started out as a book reading then progressed with an unexpectedly entertaining twist to the evening. Marc Brown drew the monster version of sporadically chosen children from the audience. Both authors took turns connecting with the audience and it was quite the positive experience. The diverse crowd, young and old were encaptured by the entertainment the night beheld. Engaged, these true fans eagerly raised their hands and expressed their passion for Marc Brown and R.L. Stine’s work.

 

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