Reviews for Have Fun, Molly Lou Melon

Booklist Reviews 2012 November #1
Molly Lou Melon, half Dr. Seuss character and half Animaniacs cartoon, has tons of toys, but she remembers her grandmother's admonition: "Back in the olden days, I didn't have fancy dolls. . . . I made them out of twigs, leaves and flowers like hollyhocks and daisies." Inspired, Molly Lou experiments with making a floral "whoseywhatsit," and then turns a backyard tree into a dollhouse, boxes into a race car, and clouds into quality TV programming. When Gertie, overindulged and bored, moves in next door, Molly Lou shows her how to embrace found objects, and soon the two girls are happily exhausted. The pro-imaginative-play and anti-consumerism message, about as subtle as a freight train, will be appreciated by many, yet it's the pencil, watercolor, and collage pictures, all color-soaked double-page spreads, that are the true delight. Catrow, just as he did in Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon (2001), provides the sugar to this tale's medicine. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

School Library Journal Reviews 2012 December

K-Gr 2--Molly Lou Melon has a house full of plastic toys and gewgaws, but her grandmother never did, and she tells her granddaughter about how she made playthings from found objects when she was young. In spread after spread, the youngster learns to use her imagination. When a new girl moves in next door, Molly Lou introduces her to this new way of playing, but Gertie is stuck in the modern, TV-watching, static-toy world. Of course, Molly Lou is eventually able to turn the tide, showing that imagination rules. The protagonist is a large-headed, bug-eyed girl living in a bright green and pink springtime cartoon world filled with details that will keep young readers busy. Catrow's cartoon-style pencil, watercolor, and collage illustrations match Molly Lou's lavish imagination. The book could have become didactic and preachy, but words and pictures work well to present a straightforward lesson on the value of good old-fashioned play.--Angela J. Reynolds, Annapolis Valley Regional Library, Bridgetown, NS, Canada

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