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by Emma Magenta & illustrated by Emma Magenta

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-7636-4560-1
Publisher: Candlewick

A direct narrative voice and endearingly childlike illustrations combine in a charming tale that may have difficulty finding a wide audience. Magenta does an excellent job of bringing her cast of characters to life, despite the fact that Orlando and his “Mami” and “Papi” all have dots for eyes, circles for mouths and no noses. Like her illustrations, her plot is simple. Orlando is disappointed to realize it’s Thursday, the day his mother is “busy in town all day.” Luckily his Papi manages to cheer him with Orlando-centric activities and special meals. Orlando's emotions are true to life, but sophisticated tone, style and vocabulary give the text an ever-so-slightly condescending feel. Some young listeners may feel distanced from the action by the protagonist’s relentless (though quite believable) self-absorption. Others may miss entirely the cleverness of the collage illustrations, created with found paper, pen, pencil and Conté crayon. On the other hand, it’s likely that Orlando’s story will resonate with many families and might even inspire personal tales of coping with separation. Intimate and creative, if not entirely successful. (Picture book. 3-5)