Malo and the Merry-Go-Round

Maria Dek. Princeton Architectural, $17.95 (34p) ISBN 978-1-61689-875-5
Selfishness and rudeness lead only to loneliness in this joyously offbeat fable. On a beautiful day, Malo refuses to help his friend Poto put up pickles, as promised, choosing instead to sneak off to the “new merry-go-round at the pond in the forest” that Poto mentions. The two are diminutive, weasel-like creatures with thin, whiskered snouts—Malo wears yellow shorts; Poto, a red vest. In bold watercolors, Dek (Look, It’s Raining) conjures a delightfully weird sylvan world replete with mushrooms towering and forest turtles sporting bright red shells. As Malo makes his way to the merry-go-round, ignoring a boar asking for help (“I’m in a terrible rush,” he says) and snapping at a courteous cuckoo (“Coo-coo could you hurry up?” he huffs) before getting his comeuppance by slipping on a ball of dung. When the merry-go-round proves no fun without a friend, Malo slinks home to make amends with Poto and the animals he upset along the way. Though the message is unsubtle, Dek’s eccentric visual humor and playfulness (“I fell in poop!” says the regretful Malo) make for an amusing parable. Ages 3–7. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 12/05/2019
Release date: 03/01/2020
Genre: Children's
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