SUCH an impactful, important lesson about the not-sunshine-y part of friendship, told in a (somehow) lighthearted way. Loved this <3— From Ruth's Staff Recommendations
What's the Matter Marlo? is a picture book about best friends that highlights empathy, as well as anger and sadness, and reminds us that these aren't feelings to run away from, but instead to help each other through.
Marlo and Coco are best friends. They do everything together—they read together, laugh together, and play games together. After all, they’re best friends. And that’s what best friends do.
But one day, when Coco asks Marlo to play, he doesn’t answer. Instead, Marlo turns away ignoring Coco, until he’s lost in his anger. Coco is worried about her friend, but then she remembers she can always find Marlo.
In this charming, thoughtful picture book, author-illustrator Andrew Arnold explores empathy and sadness, and how friends can help each other navigate big emotions. Because that’s what best friends do.
"A sweet, reassuring validation of the power of a close friendship and empathy." - Kirkus, starred review
"Profound and reassuring." - Publishers Weekly, starred review
"[What's the Matter, Marlo? is] beautifully precise, and accessible in its simplicity. Not only does it speak to grief in others, insightfully separating the person from the (sometimes eruptive and unpredictable) emotions, but it also models empathy." - The New York Times
"A gentle ode to the sadder and sweeter side of childhood friendship, Marlo is a delight." - Vera Brosgol, author of the Caldecott Honor book Leave Me Alone!
"What's the Matter, Marlo? is a touching story that pulls on your heartstrings." - Dan Santat, author of The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend
"Distinguished by its trust in readers to discover key parts of the narrative through the illustrations and to contemplate the full meaning of the events and emotions." - Hornbook