Older kids (typically 8-12) may be more familiar with Tony and Angela DiTerlizzi through their novels, The Spiderwick Chronicles. However, that does not mean they are unfamiliar with the world of children’s books. In fact, the book The Spider and the Fly won the Caldecott Honor in 2003. Now, these two brings kids Meno, an “Elf of space, here to visit the human race!” Tony and Angela DiTerlizzi intend to bring plenty more of Meno to children in the future, as this is only the first book in an intended series.
Big Fun! is the starting point for Meno, an elf of space. He arrives on earth to visit, checking out us humans to see all the strange things that we do. There is a lot for him to look out, and plenty of things for him to encounter. What sort of things will he find? What will he think of them? And what does he have planned when he says it is time for “a big fun?”
The cover of the book takes a bit of a silly step and states that this Adventure of Meno book is “Presented in vibrant Meno-color!” While most readers will not exactly know what that is supposed to indicate, they aren’t likely to care and instead simply indulge in the book and have a good time. The book is intended for infants and preschoolers, and the DiTerlizi team makes sure that it is simple, uncomplicated, and of course, fun.
Just about everything in the book is happy as depicted with a cute little smile. Meno always wears one, the sun behind him beams (in both senses of the word), an octopus he meets has a happy smile, and so on. Some parents might look at the book and feel a bit of nostalgia as it has a slightly 1950’s illustration style to it, all of which is done by Tony DiTerlizzi. The basic, almost cartoony look to Meno and the things he meets use mellow, flat colors and plenty of blank space.
It is an interesting book to be sure, taking on a different style than what most are used to, but providing kids with a good time nonetheless.