Mo and Beau is Bulgarian writer/illustrator Vanya Nastanlieva’s second children’s book. Mo and Beau features the same whimsical, soft crayon aesthetic as her first book, The New Arrival.
Mo is a mouse and Beau is a bear. Little Mo wants to play with big Beau and so copies everything he does in this simple story.
Natenlieva is an illustrator first, studying textiles and fashion before getting an MA in Children’s book illustration from the Cambridge School of Art, in England. This is evident in Mo and Beau, which is a quiet, beautifully packaged story. However, it is possibly a little too quiet for the average toddler, with its colour palate of soft grey and brown.
This story does not race along or immediately grab hold of a busy toddlers attention, so it’s not the one you turn to when needing an instant and compelling book-as-a-distraction. However, its quiet charm cannot be denied, with little Mo the mouse saying not ‘squeek, squeek’ but ‘tweak, tweak’.