Tuesday, February 17, 2015

DAY 4: Quick, Slow, MANGO! by Anik McGrory (Character)

Good morning fellow picture book fanatics! Welcome to DAY 4 of the PB 14:14 challenge. Here is the code to go add to your blog post. Thanks.
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Today's TOP 10 ELEMENT I'll be sharing is that of CHARACTER. We've all heard the battle discussed among agents, editors, and writers about character-driven PBs vs. plot-driven PBs. It is also possible that a PB can have a strong character without necessarily being "character-driven." I'm not really here to discuss the difference between these two "driven" factors, but I am here today to talk about character in general. And Quick, Slow, MANGO! is a good example of that.

Quick, Slow, MANGO! by Anik McGrory
Title: Quick, Slow, MANGO!
Author: Anik McGrory
Illustrator: Anik McGrory
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Year: 2011
Word Count: 619
Top 10 Element: Character

This is such a cute little book, a sequel actually, to the original Kidogo. Kidogo is the name of the little elephant, and it means "little" in Kiswahili (kee-DOE-go). That alone, screams "character"! But, it really is a good study on character. The second character in this book, the monkey, is named PolePole (POH-lay POH-lay) which means slowly, slowly.

Kidogo the elephant's mother is always urging him to hurry up, while PolePole the monkey's mother cautions her to slow down, but together they learn that slow and fast can both be good.
This book wasn't my favorite when I first read it. It was cute. But the more I read it, the more I noticed how every intricate detail was placed just so. It's a good study on patterns, as well.

Spread 2:
Kidogo gathered his trunk and slipped slowly down the riverbank. On his way, he found 
a butterfly... 
...and a stick. 
He stretched his trunk. 
And said hello to a passing snail. 
"Hurry, hurry," his mama called again. "Drink up now, or else we might miss breakfast."
This gives a glimpse of what Kidogo's character is like. He takes his time and notices things.

Spread 4:
Then PolePole spotted mangoes in a tree nearby. She rushed to grab all the ones she could reach. But while she rushed, she didn't hold on well.  
And the mangoes slipped and fell. 
As more and more mangoes fell, PolePole scrambled to pick them faster and faster. 
but as she picked faster and faster, more and more mangoes fell!
And thus the conflict begins and the story ensues. The BEST books will have a 9 of the 10 elements in them (not all books rhyme), but usually one element will stand out as the strongest throughout the story.

The book then goes through several spreads of Kidogo's day showing all the ways he takes his time and is slow to follow his mama. Then later, PolePole "dashed at the very last mango. It flew through the air. And so did PolePole."

And then, on spread 10:
Kidogo watched the funny monkey bobbing down the river swiping at the mangoes. 
Slowly, slowly. He waded deeper. 
He found a stick. 
He stretched his trunk. 
He pretended he was a rock...
Kidogo "stops" all the mangoes and PolePole learns how to be slow and get the mangoes too. Finally their mamas find them and see that they have worked together to catch all the floating mangoes. And here's a hint at theme and the ending:
"Yes, Kidogo, sometimes slowly slowly can also be just right."
It really is a very cute book. No wonder Kidogo is so loveable! My daughter especially loves it because of the elephant and the monkey. The very nature of their characters plays straight into the plot line.

Here's the link to add your own DAY 4 blog posts...


  1. I like that Kidogo means little in Kiswahili and PolePole means slowly, slowly. I select characters names based on sound and meaning as well.

  2. Yeah, that is pretty cool. I love coming up with character names. I have a dragon ms that was really fun to work on.

  3. I need to work more on coming up with fun names...mine tend to be a bit boring. :)
    I like that one mother is encouraging one type of behavior and the other mother the opposite...this book is great for moms as well as kids. ;) ;)

  4. I've added my link for today. I hope it works. I was away the past three days and had the blog set up to post automatically but now that I am home I am unable to post the links for the first three days. Is the Linky only open for 24 hours?

    Also, I don't get the code thing. I can be technically challenged at times.

    If there is anything else I need to be aware of, please let me know. Tomorrow I hope to get caught up with reading the others posts.

    1. Yeah, the linky is only open for 24-48 hours, depending on when I get in to close it. But I can visit your blog and add the first three for you. If your blog is Wordpress, that may be why the code won't work, but not necessarily. If it doesn't work, then just leave a link back to THAT DAY'S POST (right click on the post title to get the accurate link).

    2. okay. I guess I will just link back to the post then because I am clueless.

      thanks for adding my others posts

  5. Aw, this sounds like such a cute story! I was definitely a slow Kidogo when I was a kid... and maybe still am.

    1. p.s. My link specifically for today's post was too long for the linky, so I just posted the link for my blog homepage. Hope that works!

  6. I am a fast walker. Even my husband can't keep up with me. I tell him it's because my older brothers, who are very tall/long legs, told me to walk faster to keep up with them when we were little :-) so this book is one I can relate to.

  7. Love the animal characters and what they learn. This is too sweet!

  8. Yes, the characters, and the interplay between them and their traits, seem to be what makes this book. Thanks for this review, Christie.


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