Monday, November 11, 2019

Review - Malo and the Merry-Go-Round

Malo and the Merry-Go-Round
by Maria Dek
Date: 2020
Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

It's a beautiful day and Malo has promised to help his best friend Poto make pickles. But when Malo hears there's a new merry-go-round in the forest, all bets are off. Abandoning Poto, he rushes through the forest, ignoring a boar in need of help, snapping at a cuckoo, and smooshing a dung beetle's dung. When he finally finds the merry-go-round, Malo realizes that riding alone would be no fun at all. Lucky for Malo, his friend Poto not only forgives him, but also helps him set his other wrongs right with the forest animals. This delightfully offbeat tale, set in a whimsical forest of giant mushrooms and towering trees, teaches the importance of saying "I'm sorry," forgiveness, and friendship.

(synopsis from NetGalley; see it on Goodreads)

This is a strange little story. The illustrations are kind of trippy and the story is a bit heavy-handed with its message. Still, there's something weirdly appealing about it.

Malo is supposed to help his friend Poto make pickles. But then he hears about a new merry-go-round in the forest. Poto says they'll go after the pickle-making, but Malo just can't wait. He rushes into the forest, being downright rude to anyone who has the potential to slow him down. He ignores, snaps at, and lies to various creatures in his zeal to get to the merry-go-round. But when he finally gets there, he realizes that it isn't much fun all by himself... and so he goes about making amends.

Like I said, the message isn't subtle. It's nice, but it's a little in-your-face. The illustrations are probably the thing that's going to either attract people or turn them off this one. I can't figure out what Poto and Malo are supposed to be. Weasels maybe? They're the only animals who wear clothes, so... (Yeah, I don't know.)

If you're looking for something with unique illustrations, you might want to check this one out. Otherwise, it's just a rather simple story about values and doing the right thing.

Thank you to NetGalley and Princeton Architectural Press for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.17 out of 5

No comments:

Post a Comment