Two people, one big and one small, negotiate a relationship in this Swedish import.
Little Koko has long yellow hair and is a frequent user of the expression, “I DON’T WANT TO!” Large Bo, who might be elderly, has very little hair and wears thin wire-rim glasses. Their story unfolds in a series of snapshot moments, text on the left-hand page describing the exchange illustrated on the right. They’ve been at the playground for four hours when Bo declares that it’s time to go. Koko says no. Bo calmly responds, “Don’t then,” and leaves. After Koko returns home (“It was boring staying out alone”), the duo eats bedtime snacks and does crossword puzzles together. Koko puts up a fuss over bedtime, but Bo is unperturbed. The next day, Koko’s resistance pops up over getting out of bed, finishing breakfast, and riding on their bicycle to the store to buy groceries. Koko tries to steal some marshmallows, and when Bo insists that they be returned, Koko refuses. Bo, who lets the store guards deal with Koko, has already purchased some marshmallows for later. Stern Bo’s deep love is shown through actions. Adbåge’s pictures are square and simple, depicting both Koko and Bo with pale, pinkish skin. No gender is given to Koko, and, until the book’s end, readers might assume that Bo, in pink, patterned top and full red slacks and purse, is female. Adbåge assigns Bo a “his” near book’s end. This, and the author’s choice to present life without lecturing, shows uncommon respect for her readers.
Sublime. (Picture book. 3-6)