In this French import, Malo the rodent has promised his best friend, Poto, that he will help make pickles, but Malo would much rather chase beetles instead.
Poto suggests a compromise: After Malo helps him make pickles, he says, they can both go play at a new merry-go-round at the pond in the forest. Poto gets no response, as Malo has already sneaked away in search of the merry-go-round. Along the way, a wild boar approaches Malo and asks for his help removing a tick that is biting him. Malo refuses, as he’s in a hurry to get to the merry-go-round. Malo also lies to a group of forest turtles who ask if they can join him, and he is rude to a cuckoo whom he initially asks for help. Things grow progressively worse for Malo, who slips on a dung beetle’s ball of dung just as he spots the merry-go-round. Finally, Malo reaches the ride, but he is not at all happy. Instead, he goes back to Poto in the hope that he might make things right. Dek’s fablelike text offers enough detail that readers will be a step or two ahead of Malo as he learns his lesson (and they will love the slapstick). Its moral clarity, coupled with vibrant watercolor images against white space, makes this picture book a good text to use with groups.
A warm story about the importance of companionship and forgiveness. (Picture book. 3-7)