The Man from the Land of Fandango
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The Man from the Land of Fandango

3.29 of 5 stars 3.29  ·  rating details  ·  127 ratings  ·  43 reviews
“The man from the land of Fandango / Is given to dancing and dreams, / He comes in at the door like a somersault star / And he juggles with junkets and jam in a jar / And custards and caramel creams.”

Two children paint Mr. Fandango to life, and together the trio has a tremendous adventure with baboons and bisons, dinosaurs and kangaroos! Polly Dunbar’s textured, childlike...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 23rd 2012 by Clarion Books (first published September 1st 2012)
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Think the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour. The man from the land of Fandango only visits every 500 years and when he does brings wild adventures and treats galore.

Watercolor and collage illustrations are vibrantly colored and dance across the pages just like the rhyming text.
Jim Erekson
Mahy's poem was rhythmically great, and the nonsense was a lot of fun. She never goes into the actual meaning of fandango, but just seems to enjoy the word. I could hear a lot of Edward Lear in this, but also it reminded me very much of Nancy Willard's "The Man in the Marmalade Hat."

Dunbar's illustrations were not a great complement, because they did way too much to set the tone for how to think about the poem. She is a good cartoon-style illustrator, but the mismatch to the poem made it diffic...more
Kevin Doyle
Feb 19, 2014 Kevin Doyle rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: boys or girls, age 3 or up, fun birthday gift
Once you've read the first sentence of this fun book, you can't help but sing the rest of it. Such is the quality of the writing and the well crafted rhythm and rhyme. Definitely expect to have a bouncy, energetic time with this one.

The bright, cartoonish illustrations truly portray the playful spirit of The Man From the Land of Fandango. He's a ball, he's a bell, he juggles, he's all types of things. Oh and at one point, there's a bison dancing in red high-heeled shoes. Which is
Maybe this book plays better in New Zealand. I don't get it.
My son and I had just stopped in the middle of a rather painful rhyming picture book and then we picked up this one. The contrast was profound. Here we found a fanciful and playful picture book with rhymes that swept us merrily up. It is the story of a man from an imaginary land who leaps off of the page where he is created by two small children. They dance with a bear and a bison, bound with kangaroos. There is juggling, jingling, and even cake! Then the man returns to the picture, not to retur...more
Amy Musser
“The man from the land of Fandango / is coming to pay you a call…”

In playful rhyming verse Mahy extols the magical virtues of the mysterious man from the land of Fandango. He can change shapes, make animals dance, juggle “with jelly and jam in a jar,” and even walk on the ceiling! But you better be at home when he calls, because “he only appears every five hundred years!”

The rollicking rhyming text of this story, one of the last written by the late Mahy, bounces along and trips off the tongue. T...more
I read this to first grade, they really liked the bright colors and the rhymes. The illustrations have a bit of Dr. Seuss Whoville zaniness, the rhymes however, are not quite up to the Dr.'s greatness. The rhythm made me think a bit of the Beatles song Magical Mystery Tour for some strange reason.
A rhyming book about a man who occasionally visits from the land of Fandango. It has zany illustrations that really compliment the themes of dancing and celebration.
Vernon Area Public Library KIDS
You can’t help but smile while reading this silly rhyming tale! From the imagination of a brother and sister, Mr. Fandango enters with “bingles and bangles and bounces” and takes the kids on magical trip filled with dancing bears, musical baboons, and other playful animals. The frolicking winds down with a party with sweets treats to eat and a promise of a future visit “as they tingle and tongle and tangle/Till tomorrow turns into today.” Fans of “The Cat and the Hat” by Dr. Seuss and “Jamberry”...more
Aug 29, 2012 Ernie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: every teacher and parent of 1-8 year olds.
Shelves: picture-books
Sadly,this must be Margaret Mahy's final book. It's one of her verse books, lively with rhyme and rhythm. Having had the privilege of hearing Margaret perform her own verses, I can imagine the rollicking, virtuoso, fun-filled performance she would have given. Others will try to emulate her because she makes it so easy to read aloud. "The man from the land of Fandango/ Is given to dancing and dreams/ He comes in at the door like a somersault star/ And he juggles with junkets and jam in a jar/ And...more
In rhyming text the book tells the story of a strangely delightful man who comes for a visit only rarely. The title would be fun to read aloud, as young readers would follow the children as they prepare for the visit. The rhythm and rhyme make this one fun to read aloud or for choral reading. Since whimsy isn't my thing, it wasn't really my cup of tea despite the watercolor and collage illustrations that fill its pages.
A cute rhyming book about a man who occasionally visits from the land of Fandango who brings with him a lot of fun and treats, during this rare and special moment. The concept is good along with the illustrations but unfortunately it felt like something small was lacking. The children enjoyed the illustrations asked questions and made observations during preschool storytime. Cute book.
Ariel Cummins
Nonsense poem about a man from Fandango, who always brings silliness with him whenever he visists.

A multimedia art style matches the nonsense fun of the poem, with many elements on each page.

This book just didn't do it for me for some reason. Although it is written in verse, I couldn't get the rhythm right in my head. I'd love to hear someone who really felt it read it though!
After reading the title I could not help but think of the song "Land Down Under" by Men at Work. And thank goodness because the story was rather stupid when merely read aloud, however singing it to the tune of "Land Down Under" made for a fun read. Margaret Mahy should consider reissuing this book with that helpful hint in the forward.
Sondra Eklund
I was simply not able to read this silently to myself. I think I'll use it in my next baby storytime, since it's just so much fun to read aloud, and nice and short. I'm not crazy about the illustrations or even what the words say, so the babies not understanding is maybe a good thing. But it's so much fun to read aloud.
This book has a great metre throughout and would be a great read aloud with the words just dancing off the tongue. Rhyme and repetition are used to great effect and will keep children engaged and joining in.

Fun and whimsical with the words themselves dancing in waves on the pages amongst colourful, fun art.
Christine Turner

A bouncy, buoyant read-aloud for storytime. The Hans Christian Andersen Award winner Margaret Mahy is a two-time recipient of Englandâ™s Carnegie Medal. She lives in New Zealand.


Stories in rhyme

Imagination -- Juvenile fiction

This book would work for storytime.
I have loved the works of Margaret Mahy for years. It came as no surprise I would enjoy this title too. Add the delightful, airy and playful illustrations done in watercolor and collage by Polly Dunbar to the happy-go-lucky text and you have a winning combination.

My full review:
Bvlmc Buchanan Verplanck Elementary School
The Man from the Land of Fandango provides a richly illustrated magical tale of an imaginary journey. Told in rhyme, this tale contains great vocabulary that explores both real and nonsense words in an effort to maintain the rhythm and fanciful qualities of the tale.
Lu Benke
The playing with language is the best feature of this book. There's also a sense of empowerment that the two children are able to create that kind of fun on their own. This would be a great book to include when playing with musical instruments.
Margaret Mahy has always been a reliable source of delightful whimsy and clever language play, and this book begs to be read aloud to the small children on your lap. One might even be tempted to sing the rhymes and dance to the rhythms.
TW Mystery Reader
Illustrations and rhyming text introduce a dancing, juggling, bouncing man who appears once every five hundred years.

The rhythm of the language is wonderful! This would also work very well for a poetry assignment for upper grades.
Laura Salas
This silly adventure is so fun to read out loud! I'm not usually a big fan of kind of nonsense stories, but this rhyming text is so full of joy and so kid-friendly that I find it fairly irresistible.
A fun, bouncy, nonsense poem with playful, colorful illustrations. Not one I would read to a storytime crowd, but one that would be fun to read one on one with kids to share the lyrical language.
Bisma Kureshy
Good book for kids who are being introduced to rhyme. They can also sing along as they are being read the story or just hav fun listening to the "song-like" rythm.
The rhyming has a wonderful singsong rhythm and effortless feel, and the content has a silliness that reminds me of experiences with Roald Dahl or Shel Silverstein.
Spectacular! Very fun and silly. Reminds me of The Cat in the Hat except the children don't get into trouble with their visitor. Great for preschool storytime.
Yoo Kyung Sung
A fun characer alive who invites readers do fun things. When the chance comes, you better take advantage of it cause he wouldn't come out for a long time!
Suzy Platt
I read this to my 2 year old daughter this morning, whilst cuddled up together on my bed, a very fun story, with very colourful and fun illustrations.
Age: Toddler - Preschool

A fun read-aloud with a rhythmic bounce and imagination like Seuss. Thanks for Bubble Trouble, Margaret, and this lovely last book.
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Margaret Mahy was a well-known New Zealand author of children's and young adult books. While the plots of many of her books have strong supernatural elements, her writing concentrates on the themes of human relationships and growing up.

Her books The Haunting and The Changeover: A Supernatural Romance both received the Carnegie Medal of the British Library Association. There have 100 children's boo...more
More about Margaret Mahy...
The Changeover The Seven Chinese Brothers The Tricksters Bubble Trouble The Haunting

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