cover image Too Busy Marco

Too Busy Marco

Roz Chast, S&S/Atheneum, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4169-8474-0

Marco, a revved-up red parrot who behaves like a boy, cannot pause for sleep. At bedtime, he is preoccupied with everything he could be doing instead. Marco envisions discovering new fish (like the "cube-headed la-di-dah"), painting underwater ("Naturally he would need to invent underwater paint"), and a career in bowling ("If that wasn't cool, Marco didn't know what was"). "Marco, aren't you forgetting about something?" asks his alarm clock, which starts chasing him at 7:45 and is still ticking an hour later. At the height of his indecision, Marco's saucer eyes spin like pinwheels as he wonders, "How could he do it all?" As in her New Yorker cartoons, Chast (The Alphabet from A to Y with Bonus Letter Z!) relies on voice-bubble asides and cartoon doodads to present an array of tempting, absurd options. Fidgety Marco finally snoozes, and he's shown skateboarding through space, along with the alarm clock, whose hands have vanished. Dedicated "to the real Marco," a bird in Chast's household, this study in hyperactivity recommends relaxation, though the fixation on overwhelming choices could leave some readers as breathless as Marco. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)