Rummanah Aasi
  After reading Hush and Yellow Star, both excellent and heavy reads, I wanted to read something that would lighten up my mood. I looked through my pile of children's graphic novels and decided to pick up Jellaby by Kean Soo. Jellaby is exactly what I was looking for and needed.

Description: Portia Bennett and her mother have moved town to start a new life. Unfortunately, Portia doesn't feel welcomed in the town. She doesn't have any friends, that is until she discovers a huge purple monster who she names Jellaby. Determined to return Jellaby to his home, she seeks the help of Jason, a fellow classmate, who also doesn't fit in their school. The trio set off to find Jellaby's home, which help Portia find out more about her missing father.

Review: I couldn't help but be charmed and smitten by Soo's Jellaby. Despite his appearance, Jellaby is actually very sweet and timid. You can't help but smile at the creature and want to be his friend too. Our loveable monster seems to appear from nowhere, however, when he looks at a newspaper he points to an image that looks familiar to him. Portia and Jason think that the image must be connected to Jellaby's home and thus begins their journey.
  Portia is a very precocious child who can't to the other kids around her. With her mom being constantly busy and her dad missing, Portia is in dire need of a friend, which she immediately finds in Jellaby. Inside of being intimidated by the purple monster on their first encounter in the dark forest, she openly opens her arms and gives him shelter and food. Jason is very much like Portia, lonely and bored, although he has his own quirks.
  Jellaby reminded me a lot of Pixar's Monster, Inc. in the way that the story is very simple, the characters likable, and the illustrations are great. In fact the illustrations in Jellaby are very simple. Portia and Jason both have very large heads and look like they are from the Peanuts cartoon script. The color palette, which is heavily in purple, is used throughout the graphic novel. The spacing between the panels and the clear narrative bubbles make the graphic novel easy to read. I love how Soo uses simple, squiggly lines to depict Portia's annoyance as well as the decrease in font size to show Portia's lack of interest in her class. My only gripe with this volume is that it ends abruptly, but I can't wait to see what happens next.

Rating: 4 stars


Words of Caution: None. Recommended for Grades 3 to 7.

If you like this book try: Jellaby in the City by Kean Soo (Jellaby #2)
2 Responses
  1. I absolutely LOVE Jellaby and Kean Soo is a nice person and a talented artist. His publishers recommended that he split his story in two. The second Jellaby is an entertaining read (and has references to my home town). Get a chance to read it when you can!


  2. I'm definitely going to be reading it soon! I'm just kinda sad that it's a two volume series. LOL, I can't believe I'm complaining about that considering how many series I've got going on now.


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