There’s fun for all when the man from Fandango comes to call.
An unnamed and silent boy and girl paint a colorful figure that jumps right off the paper, bringing excitement, happy games and music. He cavorts and flies and dances with a bear and a bison, while a baboon plays a bassoon accompaniment. A frolicsome kangaroo and a dinosaur join in the rumpus along with the ecstatic children. The action races along at a breathless pace as words both real and created sing the rhymed tale that “bingles and bangles and bounces,” as they all “tingle and tongle and tangle.” The text winds and moves in arcs across the pages in the very aptly named Heatwave typeface. Watercolor-and-collage illustrations work with the shaped text, curving and swirling in hills and valleys. Every animal and human is joyful and fully engaged in the moment. The bison sports red high-fashion shoes, and there are bubbles and stars and all sorts of brightly hued shapes flying about, along with the magical man who dances and juggles without reference to gravity. The late Mahy's New Zealand syntax and humor are on fine display here, and young readers will wish that the Fandango man would appear more than once in 500 years.
Wonderfully exuberant and completely delightful. (Picture book. 3-8)