Rummanah Aasi
  I really enjoyed reading Jellaby by Kean Soo last year. A fellow librarian and friend insisted that I read the second volume, Jellaby: Monster in the City, which I happily obliged. Currently there are two volumes of Jellaby and a few shorts available online or in various graphic novel anthology. I really hope Soo continues to write more about these lovable characters, because I'm not ready to say goodbye since I just started to know them.

Description: Portia, Jason, and Jellaby continue their journey through the city of Toronto in search of a way to get Jellaby back to his home. Portia has never really had friends before. Though she wants to see Jellaby happy, she is torn between her friendship with Jellaby and her duty to help him. How can Portia say goodbye forever, when she finally found someone to call her best friend? 

Review: Jellaby: Monster in the City is just as adorable as its previous volume, maybe even more so. Our story picks up immediately where we left off in volume one. Thus, I would highly suggest readers to track down and find the first volume of Jellaby first (it's either going/have been out of print) before reading this second volume, otherwise you might be lost with the characters and important plot points. While the first volume focuses on character development and building character relationships, the second volume furthers the development even more while upping the action sequences.
  Our heroes, Portia, Jason, and Jellaby are on a mission: help Jellaby find his home and possibly finding Portia's missing dad in Toronto, Canada. The kids are disappointed that their mission isn't much of an adventure, but that quickly changes when our trio spend time in an amusement park. I love how Soo shows equally shows Portia's strengths and weaknesses. She is a spunky girl on the outside, but she internally longs for companionship and misses her father very much. She has trouble making and keeping friends, mainly due to the fear of losing them like she did with her father, who seemed to disappear without a trace. There is also a parallel story of Portia's character arc with a mysterious character that the trio meet in the amusement park.
  Despite its 172 pages length, this volume is fast paced and held my attention throughout. It was over before I knew it. Soo has an equal balance of silent panels where the character's emotions speak louder than words and active panels where we can't help but smile or chuckle at the jokes being made. The color scheme and the drawings are simple yet eye appealing. While the ending left me thinking and hoping there is more to come since there are still many unanswered questions left as the volume closes. I really, really, really hope that I'm right. Jellaby: Monster in the City is a heartfelt, warm story where children learn what it means to be a friend, how to cherish friendship, and to stand up for what you believe in.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is some fantasy violence. Recommended for Grades 3-8.

If you like this book try: Bones series by Jeff Smith or Owly series by Andy Runton
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