cover image Ned and the Joybaloo

Ned and the Joybaloo

Hiawyn Oram. Andersen Press, $13.95 (26pp) ISBN 978-0-86264-048-4

Ned is impatient for Fridays, the ``day of the night'' that he and the Joybaloo play together. The Joybaloo, which is the size of a dragon, but most closely resembles a white dog bearing confetti-like spots, is a friend Ned found in the cupboard; it can fly and make Ned laugh for hours on end. But Ned demands the attention of the Joybaloo so often that it loses its joy. And Ned learns to have fun on his own. Perhaps this is Oram's comment on the logic that rules imaginary friends, the troubles of addictive behavior or simply a glimpse of a boy who learns to look to himself for happiness. Kitamura ( Lily Takes a Walk ) chooses the latter of these three to interpret Ned's plight; offbeat perspectives show a button-eyed Ned making mischief in a cluttered, chaotic household and soaring through the skies with the Joybaloo. Ages 3-6. (July)