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Why Big Mo is a children’s book that transcends age by Tracy Diane Miller

I am, first and foremost, a poet. Even during my years as a law student at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the subsequent decades I spent toiling away at law firms, I never abandoned my first love of writing poetry.

But I am also a book reviewer. I love discovering new authors and performing “creative surgery”, of sorts, dissecting the parts of the book and examining the vital “organs” of character and plot as I write my book reviews. Being a book reviewer is a role I find tremendously satisfying. Reading books offers me a never-ending education and allows my brain to remain active as I gracefully approach this new frontier of middle age.

When I tell people that along with the other genres I enjoy that I also read children’s books, I am met by curious stares. Some people who know that I don’t have children have even asked me why do I “bother” reading children’s books.

Reading children’s books is not a bother. The well-conceived, well-written children’s book is a gift that has the power to transcend age. Arguably, with adulthood perhaps there is a propensity towards cynicism. The glass is half empty. We worship at the altar of gluttony. We take without apology and in blatant disregard for the generations that will succeed us.

Which leads me to the wonderful children’s book Big Mo by talented new author and illustrator, Megan Padalecki. Padalecki has skillfully crafted an enduring tale that resonates for all ages. While the intended reader may be ages 3-8, Padalecki is a responsible writer who is aware that her message is something we ALL need to hear and take to heart. Her protagonist, Big Mo, is a pet iguana burdened by an insatiable appetite. When his own home is unable to offer enough food to satisfy his hunger, Big Mo journeys out into the world, consuming more and more as he moves along.

Small children will admire the beauty of this book. Vivid colors explode on the page. The words complement the message of the story (that of preserving natural resources). Children will fall in love with Big Mo.

Adults will fall in love with Big Mo, too. Far removed from the innocence of childhood and having life experiences from which to draw, adults will be reminded of the importance of preserving this splendid Earth.

Big Mo is a book that transcends age. The importance of conservation is a lesson you are never too old to learn.

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