Written by Amélie Fléchais & Jonathan Garnier
Illustrated by Amélie Fléchais
Publisher: Diamond Book Distributors | Lion Forge
Release Date: April 10, 2018
Format: DRC from Netgalley
Three boys leave Camp Happiness on a treasure hunt activity. To reach the treasure first the boys take a detour that brings them deeper into the forest where all the magical beasts live. They find themselves trying to stay alive as they stumble in the middle of two Forest Spirits fighting for the throne.
This children’s book is a mix between illustrations and graphic novel panels. There are a mix of full color illustrations that transition to black and white panels. I do not think that the black and white panels are placeholders especially if the book is supposed to be mixed. (I could be wrong.) I found the color illustrations very beautiful and haunting. The black and white panels have a lot of detail in them that captured the eerie feeling associated with traveling deep into a forest. I was more impressed by the amount of detail in the black in white than I was by the illustrations. This was a refreshing way to read a children’s book. I felt the addition of panels added more to the story that otherwise would have to be limited with illustrations (especially when there is more action in the story).
The first few pages set up the groundwork on what kind of personality each of the three boys had as they traveled deeper in the woods. I did grow interested in the story as I grew more curious on what was happening. As the boys come across the magical beasts they don’t question their existence, but I’m assuming the boys probably think they are all in costumes. Even with the panels, I thought the story ended abruptly. I was left with questions about the magical beasts and the Forest Spirits. Was that the morale of the story though? Sometimes it’s best to have stones leaves unturned?
I should mention that there is a scene that depicts the almost death of one boy who get swallowed by a magical beast. The boy does get saved and the scene is not graphic. I felt this scene added a more “spooky” feeling for kids who are reading it, and added a dire situation that is often associated with adventures.
Read in April 2018