BONO AND NONNO by Arthur A. Levine


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Little Bono Faronno and his Grandfather Nonno go for a walk; Nonno settles on a bench and falls asleep, leaving Bono to call repeatedly, ""Nonno!"" Animal onlookers, thinking the little boy is saying ""No, no,"" pull out all the stops attempting to amuse the tyke till Nonno wakes up, and the pair walks back home. On that ever-so-slight premise hangs some charmingly versified wordplay, which uses the same lilting metrical pattern as ""The Owl and the Pussycat."" Levine keeps his rhyme scheme spinning like a juggler, while can-canning collies, parading pigeons, masquerading mice, and ""a neatly combed cat majordomo"" prance through Lanfredi's gouache paintings. Deserted temples, villas, and watchtowers crown the distant hilltops, with snowcapped mountains looming beyond. Cottages with tiled roofs dot the landscape, and everywhere the golden grass runs before the wind. A pig in studded collar and leash (for hunting truffles?) makes an unexplained foreground appearance next to a pair of elegant boots and trousers. Calla lilies bloom beside a broad path paved with huge, ancient-looking stones. There are a hundred delights for ear and eye in this unsugary confection; reading aloud is absolutely mandatory.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1995
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Tambourine