Guest book review by Ronna Mandel
The six book series from Tony and Angela DiTerlizzi, The Adventure of Meno (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $9.99; ages 1-5), is just the kind of quirky and colorful series my son would have adored when he was 2-years old. You may recognize Tony’s name. He’s the #1 New York TImes bestselling author and illustrator of the Spiderwick Chronicles and now, together with his wife, they’ve created a collection of stories certain to delight kids and parents alike.
While not a board book, the pages are thick and sturdy (because these pages will surely be turned a lot!), and the raised lettering on each cover and retro art throughout attract the eye instantly. I was drawn to the alien elf Meno and his jelly fish friend Yamagoo because of their charming out-of-this-world style interpretation of the English language; it’s a little bit toddler-speak infused with a touch of English-as-a-second-language so little ones will love it when Mom or Dad read the stories with funny accents.
In Adventure of Meno: Book One, Big Fun! we are “please to meet” Meno and Yamagoo who enjoy a tasty snack and some big fun which follows (see the Meno-speak glossary at the end pages to learn what exactly Big Fun is) then find the new, catchy lyrics to sing along to the “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” tune. In Adventure of Meno: Book Two, Wet Friend!, the two friends become a trio after meeting WIshi for “wish time” and making a new friend in a fishbowl named Zanzibar. Check out the Web site www.planetmeno.com for more fun and exciting escapades and visit Tony at www.diterlizzi.com
Ronna Mandel is Associate Editor at L.A. Parent and blogs about books at Good Reads With Ronna. She’s a mom of two living in La Cañada who, in her rare free time, loves to read, travel and hunt down the wild bargain, often hiding in remote parts of the world both online and in person.