Lisen Adbage, born in Linkoeping, Sweden, in 1982, is an author and
illustrator. Her first picture book, Ellen & Bebis (Ellen &
Baby), was published when she was just 18 years old. The recipient
of numerous awards, she is best known for her books about Koko and
Bo, which have been hailed as modern day classics. Her twin sister,
Emma Adbage, also writes and illustrates picture books.
Annie Prime is a literary translator of French, Swedish, Russian, and Spanish. Since receiving her MA in translation from University College London, she has translated five books.
A Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Book of 2018
"Two people, one big and one small, negotiate a relationship in this Swedish import. Little Koko has long yellow hair and is a frequent user of the expression, 'I DON'T WANT TO!' Large Bo, who might be elderly, has very little hair and wears thin wire-rim glasses. Their story unfolds in a series of snapshot moments, text on the left-hand page describing the exchange illustrated on the right. They've been at the playground for four hours when Bo declares that it's time to go. Koko says no. Bo calmly responds, 'Don't then, ' and leaves. After Koko returns home ('It was boring staying out alone'), the duo eats bedtime snacks and does crossword puzzles together. Koko puts up a fuss over bedtime, but Bo is unperturbed. The next day, Koko's resistance pops up over getting out of bed, finishing breakfast, and riding on their bicycle to the store to buy groceries. Koko tries to steal some marshmallows, and when Bo insists that they be returned, Koko refuses. Bo, who lets the store guards deal with Koko, has already purchased some marshmallows for later. Stern Bo's deep love is shown through actions. Adb ge's pictures are square and simple, depicting both Koko and Bo with pale, pinkish skin. No gender is given to Koko, and, until the book's end, readers might assume that Bo, in pink, patterned top and full red slacks and purse, is female. Adb ge assigns Bo a 'his' near book's end. This, and the author's choice to present life without lecturing, shows uncommon respect for her readers. Sublime."--Kirkus Reviews
"Koko finds out, through natural consequences, that coats keep you warm, staying in bed all day is boring, and that you have to pay for your hats and marshmallows if you want to take them from the store. There's no fighting; Bo does not give in to Koko's demands, but also stays kind and loving throughout. This is some zen parenting! [...] As with Adbage's other picture books, the child is given no specific gender, making it easy for any child to identify with them." --Katrina Yurenka, Youth Services Book Review
"Koko may experience spiky moods, as all children that young do, but one gets the sense that she is cognizant of the great respect her caretaker has for her in the name of the freedom he affords, trusting her to make the right decisions and to learn from the bad ones. So, what looks like a stand-off on the book's front cover? Nope, it's not. No disputes here. Bo's got it all under control. And I think child readers will be mesmerized by how it all plays out." --Julie Danielson, Kirkus Reviews
"The playfulness and love shines on the pages, gently demonstrating a way of parenting a child who is going through a contrary phase. Both characters are wonderfully depicted, each of them dancing along gender lines in a natural and open way. Another charmer of a picture book just right for bedtime, even if someone doesn't want to read." --Tasha Saecker, Waking Brain Cells