Cover image for Mallko and dad
Title:
Mallko and dad
ISBN:
9781592702596
Personal Author:
Edition:
First English-language edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Enchanted Lion Books, 2018.

©2018
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : chiefly color illustrations ; 25 cm
General Note:
"Originally published in Spanish as Mallko y papá by Editorial Océano, S.L." -- Title page verso.
Summary:
"A father, Gusti, expounds upon life with his son Mallko, who has Down syndrome. A diary, journal, and illustrated story all at the same time. This book, which was selected as the best book in the disability category by the Bologna Book Fair in 2016, comes as a call and a revelation."-- Provided by publisher.
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Added Author:
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Children's Book 616.8588 Gusti
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Children's Book 616.8588 Gusti
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Children's Book 616.8588 Gusti
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Children's Book 616.8588 Gusti
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Summary

Summary

A diary, journal, and illustrated story all at the same time written by a father about his son, Mallko, who has Down Syndrome. This book, which was selected as the best book in the disability category by the Bologna Book Fair in 2016, comes as a call and a revelation.

Born in Argentina, Gusti studied advertising design at the Escola d'Art Fernando Fade and has lived in Europe since 1985. He first worked in Paris and currently lives in Barcelona where, as well as working as an illustrator, he also gives classes in illustration at schools, libraries, and cultural centers. He co-founded the nonprofit association Windown-La Ventana, which works towards building a more inclusive society. Gusti lives with his family in Barcelona.


Author Notes

Born in Argentina, Gusti studied advertising design at the Escola d'Art Fernando Fade and has lived in Europe since 1985. He first worked in Paris and currently lives in Barcelona where, as well as working as an illustrator, he teaches illustration classes at schools, libraries and cultural centers. Gusti also co-founded the nonprofit association Windown-La Ventana to work for a more inclusive society. He lives in Barcelona, Spain.


Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

In this mixed-media Spanish import, Gusti relies on prose, poems, short sayings, and vignettes to explore his young son Mallko's early years. The author is honest about his initial anxiety upon learning that his son had Down syndrome, while noting that his wife was immediately accepting. With graphic paneling illustrations, childlike art and scribbles, and the use of collage and photos, this scrapbooklike memoir captures Mallko's vibrant personality. At times, however, Gusti comes across as self-congratulatory about both his and his older son Theo's attitude toward Mallko: "Theo helps us a lot with Mallko. When we're overwhelmed, we can always count on him. This makes him feel like a good person and gives him a sense of responsibility." Overall, though, this is a deeply personal account of fatherhood and a beautiful memoir about family and acceptance. VERDICT This celebratory and -enchanting title will engage teens.--Danielle Jones, Multnomah County Library, OR © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publisher's Weekly Review

Deeply affecting and sometimes funny, this scrapbook-style memoir records Argentinian artist Gusti's journey toward unconditional love for his son, Mallko, identified as a child with Down syndrome shortly after his birth. Sketches and scribbly, brightly colored drawings alternate with interviews, narrative reflections, poems, and song lyrics, all sensitively translated by Lethem, chronicling the way Mallko conquers Gusti's heart. They reveal Gusti's fears and celebrate his growing discovery, with support from family and friends, of Mallko's skills and gifts (Mallko's mother declares, "He had every right to arrive as he did"). Mallko loves cars, mopping the patio, and his "freeze ray" powers: "Once you are frozen you have to wait for him to unfreeze you. The most effective method is a kiss." Gusti's early inner conflict may make this a tough read for younger readers-in one moment, he confesses "I DID NOT ACCEPT HIM," the words printed in huge black letters across two pages. But his naked honesty offers balance to his eventual understanding that "Mallko was already complete. And not only that: I realized he was great. The greatest." Ages 10-12. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Sometimes having kids is like making a drawing, Argentinian artist Gusti writes, it doesn't come out quite the way you were imagining it. It quickly becomes obvious that the kid he's referring to is his son Mallko, who was born with Down syndrome. At first I did not accept him, Gusti candidly admits, but time will change that, and it's soon obvious that he has come to love his son, whom he now calls the greatest. This unusual book offers a glimpse of their quotidian life together, along with the boy's mother and older brother, who loves his little brother unconditionally. In form, the book resembles a scrapbook with its text often hand-lettered and filled with the artist's naive illustrations, sketches, and the occasional small photograph showing Mallko playing, bathing, drawing, eating (or refusing) breakfast doing, in short, all of the daily things children do. The result is charming and touching, but it invites the question of who the book's audience will be. Though younger children will identify with Mallko, now 11, the book's attitude and style are quite sophisticated with obvious appeal to adults. Happily, however, the book's implicit theme is a universal one: the power and importance of love.--Michael Cart Copyright 2018 Booklist


New York Review of Books Review

it may be best to approach MALLKO AND DAD (Enchanted Lion, 120 pp" $19.95; ages 6 and up) as a picture book that's not really for children, or at least not for children to read on their own. It's a book that seems aimed at helping parents of children with special needs - and perhaps those children themselves, as well as their typically developing siblings - come to terms with their shared lives. Through a playful blending of words and drawings (conveyed in a smooth English translation by Mara Faye Lethem), the illustrator Gusti, who was born in Argentina and now lives in Barcelona, offers an autobiographical account - part sketchbook, part collage and part fragmentary story - of how he, his wife and their older son dealt with the fact that his younger son, Mallko, was born with Down syndrome. The sentence "I did not accept him" sprawls in giant, heavy, capital letters across a spread early in the book. Toward the end, typed small below an indecipherable but nonetheless endearing drawing presumably by Mallko, Gusti writes, "Kids with Down syndrome are an endangered species." These two sentences span the journey the book takes from Gusti's early fear and confusion over Mallko's condition to his blossoming awareness of how rare, precious and wonderful his son is. Sometimes Gusti's pictures feel almost manic, splashed all over the pages, which are treated like open canvases. There are photorealistic drawings in colored pencil, anxious pictures in pen, and countless cartoons and comic panels. Taken together, this assortment of styles represents a mind shuttling between feelings of love, fear, uncertainty, hope and gratitude - a dizzying cocktail that may feel familiar to many parents. Down syndrome, for Gusti, becomes an opportunity to examine and more deeply inhabit his love for his son, whose world, as Gusti illustrates it, is filled with wonder. For instance, amid a sketchbooklike series of drawings of Gusti and Mallko riding tricycles, Gusti writes, "Every day I tell myself: Don't forget to play." In one of those drawings, Mallko looks directly at the reader with a piercingly curious gaze, as if asking: "What's your problem? C'mon, let's do something fun." Dozens of images of Mallko drawn in every imaginable mood beckon the reader into his illuminated world. According to the last page, "Mallko is now 11 years old and he is very happy." That makes him the same age as my son, who has severe cerebral palsy and whose life has been nothing at all like the life I had imagined or hoped he would have. My son is very happy, too, and I am very grateful for him. Like Gusti's, my early years of parenting were filled with hope and dread. Yet, having gone on a journey like his, I find myself resisting what feels at times like Gusti's binary vision of special needs parenting. He seems to propose two poles: acceptance of a child, and the opposite of acceptance. I recall a million gray areas, and nothing as stark at the beginning as Gusti's "I could not accept him." In Gusti's drawings, I recognize countless shadings of what love feels like. When I read the book with my 7-year-old daughter, she said she thought it might even help special needs kids better accept themselves, though my son and, it seems, Mallko are blessed with unusually effortless love for their lives. They might not need that help. And most of the parents I know with special needs kids have developed their own fierce and subtle ways of understanding their own and their children's lives - they may find Gusti's terms difficult to accept. Then again, my resistance may be evidence of the power of the book. Perhaps I cling too defensively to the terms of my own journey, which, now, are precious to me; they're the ways I love my son. Eleven years ago, however, when I felt alone, worried and afraid to be hopeful, I would have been extremely grateful for this book. CRAIG MORGAN teicher is a poet and critic. His latest book is "We Begin in Gladness: How Poets Progress."