The Man from the Land of Fandango by Margaret Mahy, illustrated by Polly Dunbar
My son and I had just stopped in the middle of a rather painful rhyming picture book and then we picked up this one. The contrast was profound. Here we found a fanciful and playful picture book with rhymes that swept us merrily up. It is the story of a man from an imaginary land who leaps off of the page where he is created by two small children. They dance with a bear and a bison, bound with kangaroos. There is juggling, jingling, and even cake! Then the man returns to the picture, not to return for another 500 years. It’s a silly and very fun book that is filled with nonsense and plenty of jam.
Mahy’s words really dance here, carrying the story forward on a rhyming flow. This is not a book that is a straight-forward story, rather it’s a dazzlingly silly wander. Children will quickly understand that this is pure nonsense and go with it. Dunbar’s illustrations have a wonderfully light touch. They are filled with bubbles and speckles. Whimsical creatures and plants populate the page, often dancing with glee.
This is a merry read that has a great lightness and silliness at its heart. A wonderful posthumous release from the amazing Mahy. Appropriate for ages 2-4.
Reviewed from library copy.