Sarah's Stars

Kean Soo. Jellaby
Hyperion $12.99  ISBN 978-1-4231-0303-3  144 pg.
Reviewed by Melissa, Age 15

Portia Bennett has reached a major turning point in her life. Between haunting nightmares about her missing father and the fact that she has no friends at school, she now finds a dragon. Or something like it. She soon finds out it is hard for her to hide something that big from absolutely everyone. In turn, she meets Jason (a kid from school who is almost always the target of bullying). They both decide (Jason a little less enthusiastically) on a name for their dragon friend: Jellaby. Everything is starting to fall into place nicely…when Jellaby finds a photograph in the newspaper of a strange looking door. He seems to think it is familiar. The two friends immediately jump to the conclusion that he wants to go wherever the picture is…which just so happens to be Toronto.

This graphic novel is so cute! I love Jellaby; his character is creative and absolutely adorable. I enjoyed all of the great facial expressions. They are easy to understand and the reader is compelled to copy them; some appearances are just hilarious. The entire book is a lot like a movie and every time you put the novel down, you feel like you are pausing a film or DVD. The situations (despite the imaginary dragon) are very real to the reader and are effortlessly made to capture the hearts and imaginations of every reader. The pictures are spaced out and the pages are never cluttered or confusing. Every word went with the picture and vice-versa. They are so accurately placed that you can almost hear the voices of each character. This is a good bedtime story to help a child’s perspective on stories change and grow.

I recommend this book for people ten years old and up. (Although I think that a younger child, maybe at seven or eight years, would find this an enjoyable story-time book. It seems ideal.) I promise entertainment before anyone reads this novel. It may be a quick read for older readers, but it is well done and will catch your interest whether it is a fun read for you or an amusing learning experience for your child.

I give Jellaby five big purple stars. The only regret is that I did not get to read the full-colour version now out in stores! I could only dream of how vivid the pictures would be.

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