You better, mastodon!

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Micaela Chirif
Illustrations by Issa Watanabe
Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2014
ISBN: 9786071624420

♦ Premio A la orilla del viento 2013
♦  The World through Pictures Books 2023. Librarian’s favorite books from their country

Winner of the XVII A la orilla del viento Contest

The protagonist of this story has an unusual pet: a mastodon. Like all mastodons, his is huge and ferocious, and also very rebellious. Every time he asks for something, Mastodon responds “No!”. But when his master yells at the top of his lungs: “You better, Mastodon!”, things change and get complicated… And there is nothing more difficult in the world than taming a mastodon, although it also has its reward.


“’You better, mastodon!’ is a round album, with a plastic, literary and graphic discourse that will provide the reader with a complete narrative.” Rebeca Cerda.

“An integral album, where the image dialogues very well with the text. Literary and graphic economy stands out; however, it is ambitious in both proposals. It takes risks that are not seen in other projects.” Bernardo Fernández.

“’You better, mastodon!’ is an album that creates empathy with the reader. It fosters a space for complicity and rebellion.” Ana Juan.

“This would be an album of multiple readings and interpretations. Is it a metaphor for resistance? Would the mastodon be a symbol for disobedience? What function do the characters fulfill here?… We could think that the child fulfills the adult function here by trying to “educate” (tame) the rebel mastodon, trying to model his character.” Literatil

“There are books that as soon as you see them you know that they hide something big behind. In this case the invitation was evident, when a 16×10in illustrated album is put in front of you, what’s on its pages must be enormous. And it does not disappoint, as it hides, no more and no less than a mastodon.” Fran Pintadera

The inner mastodon

You better, mastodon!

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