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THE AMAZING LOVE STORY OF MR. MORF by Carll Cneut

THE AMAZING LOVE STORY OF MR. MORF

An Astonishing Circus Romance

By Carll Cneut (Author) , Carll Cneut (Illustrator)

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: March 24th, 2003
ISBN: 0-618-33170-0
Publisher: Clarion

Lonely circus dog Mr. Morf temporarily leaves his tightrope-walking job in this old storyline with unique illustrations. Seeing his fellow circus performers all paired up—as spouses, siblings, or friends—makes Mr. Morf long for a companion. First he meets a flock of birds perched on a high wire, a place he naturally feels comfortable; but alas, they must fly away to “holiday abroad” and cannot be his friends. Next he bends down on the ground and calls into a hole; a mole enthusiastically agrees to emerge and be his friend, but is tragically unable to find his way out. Several other animals are invited to friendship by the mournful protagonist, but none accept. Brokenhearted and back at the circus, Mr. Morf suddenly one day begins to giggle—tickled by the flea who has moved onto his body and who becomes, at long last, the lifelong friend he has yearned for. Quests for friendship are not new, and the text here is sometimes stiff; what makes this unique is the style of illustration. Acrylic paint is mixed with dry pastel and oil pastel to create melancholy pictures with delicate lines and an offbeat flavor. A nice intertextual reference to Little Red Riding Hood lends the story an archetypal feeling, and while not really “astonishing,” this is a quiet and tender tale. (Picture book. 3-6)