Now, Now, Markus

Martin Auer, Author, Simone Klages, With Greenwillow Books $12.95 (44p) ISBN 978-0-688-08974-0
In this unusual and visually striking picture book, a rather disagreeable child--prone to ``dropping dead'' to get his way--heads to the woods one day after his parents uncharacteristically refuse to bend to his will. He is accompanied by the outsized swan that he has rather mysteriously acquired as a pet. The swan shields Markus from predators and saves the day when they not only find, but are swallowed by, a giant: it flutters its wings and the giant neatly regurgitates them, along with a host of other beings. All troop back to Markus's house, where his dim and consistently out-maneuvered parents utter their usual ineffective exclamations of dismay. Painterly and stylized, the illustrations are sophisticated and often powerful. However, the work as a whole is less successful. Some of its attempts at whimsy fall flat, as in the recitation of things liberated from the giant's stomach--an encyclopedic list that quickly becomes tedious and, in its rhyme and alliteration, fey. Perhaps more important, Markus, in contrast to Sendak's Max, does not have enough innate appeal for readers to identify with and gain satisfaction from his foray into the wild. Ages 4-up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1989
Release date: 09/01/1989
Library Binding - 48 pages - 978-0-688-08975-7
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