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BONO AND NONNO by Arthur A. Levine


by Arthur A. Levine & illustrated by Judy Lanfredi

Age Range: 4 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-688-13233-2
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

 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 snow-capped 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. (Picture book. 4+)