Saturday, January 9, 2010

Milo Armadillo

Milo Armadillo. By Jan Fearnley. 2009. (December 2009). Candlewick Press. 40 pages.

When it was nearly Tallulah's birthday, her parents asked her what she would like for a present.
"I want a pink fluffy rabbit," said Tallulah.
You'd think it would be easy to find a pink fluffy rabbit.
But it wasn't.

This one has charm on its side. Granted, it wasn't love at first sight. (Much like Tallulah's experience, mind you). But by the end, this one had me hooked. It's a book-with-a-lesson, in a way, but it isn't a lesson that hits you in the head over and over again either. If I had to sum it up, it would be by quoting a Rolling Stones song--and how often does that happen in a picture book review I wonder?!--

You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you might find
You get what you need

So, back to the book, what is this one about? Well, it's about Tallulah, the little girl, not getting a pink fluffy rabbit. Instead Tallulah gets a homemade gift (and knitted at that) from her Grandma. She asks for a rabbit, but well, mistakes were made along the way, and the result is a creature that looks more like an armadillo than a rabbit. Can a little girl learn to love-and-appreciate this oh-so-lovingly-handmade toy? Or will her heart always yearn for that old pink fluffy bunny?

This one reminds me of one of my favorite scenes in Arthur's Perfect Christmas. The one where D.W. *almost* melts down because she didn't get Tina-the-Talking-Tabby. Disappointments are part of growing up. And this little book about how-it-can-all-work-out feels right to me.

© Becky Laney of Young Readers

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