I love children’s books filled with beautiful artwork and well written stories that inspire and educate through good story telling. I am also a fan of fairytales and poetry that elevate the reader to stretch their minds and grow as thy work their way through the stories cleverly revealed on the page.
Whimsical is defined as “playfully quaint or fanciful, especially in an appealing and amusing way.” Author Matthew Mehan and Illustrator John Folley have created quite the world of whimsy and wonder in their inaugural effort “Mr. Mehan’s Mildly Amusing Mythical Mammal’s”.
This book uses the alphabet as it’s guide as the author creates captivating poetry accompanied by the brilliantly colored art the illustrator has crafted that captures the reader’s imagination, regaling the tale of Blug and Dally who travel their way through the world of mythical mammals. Along their journey, these two friends learn about good and evil, courage and fear, sadness, hope, humor and how to have a little self-awareness and empathy toward their fellow mythical friends.
My favorite letter is “T – The Tale of the Tanglis” which tells the story of Mother and Father Tanglis who work hard to create a family. This beautiful poem is all about the sacrifice of parenthood. The Papa has to climb up the mountain from the sea and the Mama has to dig through the rock to make a home for her beloved. They sweat and work because they know they are called to be a family. They love with their whole life and welcome a son and daughter. Then they part again so their children might have their own life independent of them. I’m being completely honest here when I tell you I cried when I read that poem. It was so beautiful. The Tanglis will always have a special place in my heart.
I came to know of this book through the illustrator John Folley. He is an incredibly accomplished artist who four years ago was commissioned to paint a portrait of our daughter Courtney. That portrait now hangs in a place of honor in our home and we have been so blessed by it. His attention to detail is paramount in all of his work, as you can see in the above illustrations. His art is only enhanced by Mr. Meehan’s endearing poetry.
The book is capped of by a wonderful glossary to allow parents to share some of the wonderful language in the book with their young readers. It can sometimes be a little daunting, but it shows how much the author wants to introduce the wonderful world of language and reading to his audience.
With the holidays quickly approaching, I highly recommend you add this gem to your gift giving list for readers young and old.