The Land of Nod by Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Hunter
Published by Flying Eye Books on February 14th 2017
Genres: Children's Picture Book
Ever wondered about the mysterious place we all visit when we fall asleep? Robert Louis Stevenson's classic children's poem about dreamland is given new life in this wonderfully illustrated book. Accompanied by Robert Hunter's bold and beautiful illustrations, this picture book will bring the beloved Scottish author's work to a whole new generation of young readers.
Robert Frank Hunter is a London-based illustrator. Working on a range of projects in both print and moving image, he is keen to keep applying his work to new disciplines.
When you open the gorgeous and colorfully illustrated The Land of Nod, you are instantly captivated. These beautiful images provide a dream-like landscape to accompany the words of Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem “The Land of Nod”. Every single page is full of details and whimsical drawings reminiscent of the “feeling” of a dream. Which is sure to draw readers deep into the story. Because of the lovely hues of blue and pink Mr. Hunter uses in his illustration, he is able to create a “twilight-type” mood and truly bring the poem to life.
It is clear from the illustrations and the words of the poem that the little boy is feeling isolated from the outside world. However, in his dreams, he can go on all kinds of adventures and see all sorts of different things. This would be an excellent choice for a bedtime story, or for inspiring young poets. As well as a book to read to little ones when they are sick and have to stay in bed. I highly recommend The Land of Nod to dreamers of all ages.
“The strangest things are there for me,
Both things to eat and things to see,
And many frightening sights abroad
Till morning in the land of Nod.”
*Thank you to Flying Eye Books for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
Hilda and the Stone Forest by Luke Pearson
Published by Flying Eye Books on October 4th 2016
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Graphic Novel, Middle Grade
Hilda may be grounded, but that won’t stop her from heading off on another daring adventure! But everything is thrown off course when her mother catches her and is dragged along for the ride. Furious with each other, the bickering pair find themselves lost in the land of the trolls, forced to embark on a dangerous journey to make their way home. And to make matters even more difficult, Hilda has to do so . . . as a troll? Buckle your seatbelts for a crazy body-swapping adventure!
Luke Pearson is the artist and writer of the Hilda series of graphic novels. He has fast become one of the leading talents of the United Kingdom and United States comics scene, garnering rave reviews from the New York Times and the School Library Journal. He was the winner of the Young People's Comic category at the British Comic Award in 2012, and he has been nominated for the Eisner Award's Best Publication for Kids and Best Writer/Artist in 2013. He has recently written and storyboarded multiple episodes of the cult classic show Adventure Time. He lives in Bristol, United Kingdom.
Hilda and the Stone Forest is a fast paced, fun and vivid graphic novel. This was my first time reading one of Hilda’s stories and I was completely charmed by her inquisitive nature. In many ways, the curious Hilda reminds me a little of my younger self. I probably didn’t sneak off to as many adventures as Hilda. In this book, Hilda’s mom has had enough of Hilda always being late for dinner. She warns Hilda to not go off again, but when Hilda doesn’t listen her mom decides it’s time for a grounding.
However, grounding Hilda really doesn’t do much to stop her from going off on a new adventure. Things go a little askew when her mom catches her about to jump into a magical portal. They both end up getting sucked in and thrown out of a different opening. Hilda and her mom end up in an eerie stone forest filled with trolls. Together with Twig (Hilda’s adorable pet), they must find their way home. With no magic portal insight though will they ever be able to get home?
I really love how Luke Pearson is able to capture the vitality and curious nature in Hilda. The fully illustrated pages (all the way to the very edges of the page) is visually stunning. These fully illustrated pages really helped to immerse me in the story. The bold and colorful illustrations also gave the story movement and a good pace. As you start to read it, you can already sense from the drawings that Hilda is on the move and on a mission.
Hilda and the Stone Forest is all about bravery, adventure and of the comfort in knowing that our home will always be there to return to no matter how far off we wander. I am so glad I found this story, and I will definitely be checking out the other Hilda books. I highly recommend Hilda and the Stone Forest to readers that enjoy graphic novels full of excitement, adventure, and odd creatures.
Thank you Flying Eye Books for providing me with a review copy in return for my honest review.
Marcel by Eda Akaltun
Published by Flying Eye Books on September 20th 2016
Genres: Children's Picture Book
Marcel is a New Yorker through and through--he and his human know the best spots, especially downtown. But when a new human suddenly enters their lives, they're spending all their time uptown! Everything is changing and it looks like this new human isn't going anywhere. Why couldn't everything stay as it was? Why did things have to change?
Eda Akaltun is a New York–based illustrator and printmaker from Istanbul. Prior to her work with Flying Eye, her illustrations can be found in the Nobrow magazine, of which she is a founding contributor.
Marcel is a cute little french bulldog who lives in New York City with his “human” owner. Together they have fun adventures exploring the city and going to all his favorite places. Soon a new “human” comes into their lives and starts to take time away from Marcel and his “human”. This new human even dares to take Marcel’s favorite spot on the couch. Now they spend all their time uptown where Marcel feels cramped by all the people and not enough places that cater to Marcel’s needs. Eventually Marcel starts to see that the new human isn’t too bad after all and they form a bond.
Marcel is adorable and will win over every reader’s heart. The version I received was an early ARC from the publisher so they illustrations weren’t in color, but if they turn out anything like the cover it will be stunning. Even without the color, there was movement in the art and I liked how you got the “feel” of the hustle and bustle of NYC. I also appreciated that they gave you a little taste of what street life is like in different parts of the city. I also loved the hint of a potential second book at the end of the book too. Though this is a story about a puppy and his growing family, I think the idea/concept of the story could and will work to help explain to readers why their family dynamic might be growing or changing.
The story is simple, but really sweet and could be very helpful in explaining many scenarios be it a new baby/sibling, new parent/partner or even a new pet joining an already established family. With growth comes change and though not all things will have to be different, some things will need to change and to evolve. I think the author captures this idea in a fun, entertaining and non threatening or scary way. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys beautiful picture books, silly and adorable puppies, or who will be expanding their family dynamic and need an aide to help breach such a sensitive topic.
Thank you Tucker at Nobrow and Flying Eye Books for providing me with a copy of this wonderful book in exchange for an honest review.