Sibling rivalry is an age-old theme in children’s books. Dean Haspiel and Jay Lynch give it a rousing twist with their cartoon characters, Mo and Jo. Mo and Jo, Fighting Together Forever, combines familiar sibling arguments with bad guys and superheroes to create a book young children will relish.
The story begins with a typical brother and sister who fight over just about everything. Their favorite superhero is Mojo. In the first three pages they discover their mailman Mister Mojoski is actually the real Mighty Mojo! When he retires to Miami, he gives his suit and all his powers to the stunned brother and sister.
They fight over the suit and end up tearing it in half. Their mother makes two costumes out of the one and in doing so splits the powers in half. The battle over who has the better power begins. When they face real trouble and try to fight it separately, they learn how much more power they have together.
The full-color cover draws attention, with Mo and Jo in brightly colored red and yellow superhero costumes. Mo has the upper—very stretched out—hand on her brother Jo. The comic book layout with speech bubbles makes the story easy to follow and keeps the action moving at a quick pace.
Lynch helped create Wacky Packages and Garbage Pail Kids. Haspiel illustrated Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon’s The Escapist.
Children are forever trying to discover who they are and find their own talents. The constant bickering may get tiresome for adults, but Lynch and Haspiel have tapped into emotions and excitement that are relevant to their desired audience. Their combined enthusiasm for comic book characters helped to create a book with illustration and story depth.