Posted in Book Review

REVIEW: Family Time: I’m a Star by Brandon Foster

Listen on Google Play Music Listen to Stitcher

ARC provided by the author for my honest review.

Title: Family Time: I’m a Star

Author: Brandon Foster | Illustrator: Pia Bley

Publisher: Allegory Publishing | Published: TBD

Theme:  Pride and Leading by Example

Character Origin: Human 

Book Type: Comic  | Pages: ≈ 40

Ages: 6-12 | Book Level: — | Lexile Measure:

Book Synopsis…

Friends, how many of us have them?

Simone has it all! Popularity, good friends, and a loving family. But it appears that that may not be enough. What happens when the need for more drives you in the wrong direction? Join Simone as she discovers not just the price of chasing fame, but also the consequences.

My overall thoughts…

I was eager to take a sneak peek at Foster’s follow-up comic to Family Time: Who Do You Love and needless to say it was FANTASTIC! This is definitely a comic that will appeal more to girls than boys but the message is appropriate for both. It deals with one of the seven deadly sins–pride; as well as leading by example. Foster was up to the challenge of tackling this complicated subject, in a relatable and comprehensive manner for both child and parent, as they both have lessons to learn here. What I’ve found quite dynamic about comics is that the illustrations play a more significant role than those in picture books. The reader can connect viscerally with the imagery before ever reading a word. I find that very intriguing. Overall, the execution of the content and character development was presented in a fluid and easily intelligible manner.

The illustrations and text…

Bley’s illustrations were beautifully drawn and matched meticulously to the characters in the previous comic. The cool color palette adds softness to the page. The font size and text is easy to read. The dialogue bubbles were distributed well throughout the panels. Foster’s use of the various bubble types was nicely interwoven throughout the comic, which demonstrates the diversity of the text and provides more insight into the thoughts and feelings of the characters themselves. Adding a reference page at the beginning may be helpful for those that are new to reading a comic. This reference could include what the different types of bubbles mean, how to read a comic, and what the different parts of a comic are. Doing this could be especially helpful to younger readers or parents.

I’ll give it…

Posted in Book Review

REVIEW: Dear Dragon by Josh Funk

Listen on Google Play Music Listen to Stitcher

Check out my interview with Josh Funk.

Title: Dear Dragon

Author: Josh Funk | Illustrator: Rodolfo Montalvo

Publisher: Viking | Published: September 6, 2016

Theme:  Pen Pal and Friendship

Character Origin: Human & Dragon

Book Type: Picture Book  | Pages: 40

Ages: 4-8 | Book Level: 2.8 | Lexile Measure: 560L

Book Synopsis…

A sweet and clever friendship story in rhyme, about looking past physical differences to appreciate the person (or dragon) underneath.

George and Blaise are pen pals, and they write letters to each other about everything: their pets, birthdays, favorite sports, and science fair projects. There’s just one thing that the two friends don’t know: George is a human, while Blaise is a dragon! What will happen when these pen pals finally meet face-to-face?

My overall thoughts…

If you are a fan of Josh Funk, this flaming good book won’t come as a surprise.  I hadn’t thought about having a pen pall since grade school. I thoroughly enjoyed Funk’s approach to this book. The students started as strangers, addressing each other by Dear First Name Last Name but as their relationship evolved; so did their salutation and the brevity of their conversation. Funk’s ability to bring people together is a thing of beauty. This is definitely a book that you should add to your collection.

The illustrations and text…

Per the copyright page, the artwork is created with watercolors, black acrylic ink, and graphite. Montalvo’s drawings are full of beautiful detail filled with variations of greens, yellows, and blues which pairs with the characters. It was a nice touch to have two distinct fonts for George and Blaise. It adds more authenticity to the story. I liked how the letters between the students were written on a piece of paper. Now that was a good pairing between illustration and text. The font size and style were appropriate for a young reader. The flow of the rhyming text was steady and wasn’t at all cheesy.

I’ll give it…