ALDO by John Burningham
Kirkus Star


by , illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8


The creator of several outstanding books that explore children's imaginative inner lives (Come Away from the Water, Shirley, 1977, etc.) takes a more direct approach than usual in a touching portrait of a solitary child with an imaginary friend, Aldo, a rabbit just about her size. Aldo can be counted on to turn up "when things get really bad" (an illustration shows the child being bullied in the school lavatory); unfortunately, he can't help when her parents are arguing because "he's only my special friend" (italics added). The oversize format dramatizes the contrast between the introspective sketches of the child on her own, surrounded by negative space, and her outings with Aldo: a joyous dance in a sea of brilliant yellow splashed across a double spread; skating or tightrope-walking against a bank of black and crimson clouds. Aldo is a quietly comforting figure, tenderly absorbing the feelings suggested in the deftly understated text and the wonderfully expressive illustrations, with agile line and Turneresque spreads of subtly modulated color. Unusually perceptive, unsentimental treatment of a familiar theme. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0099185016
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Crown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 1992


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