this isn’t nearly as good as The Little Red Wolf, but i read a digital arc through netgalley, and it’s possible that some of the things i didn’t love about it are just placeholder pages that are going to change between now and the release of the physical copy, so i’ll come back here in march with the answer to that puzzle.
if i’m judging this book on story or cohesion, it’s probably a 3. but in a book this pretty, i don’t always mind if the story’s weak. and this one isn’t terrible, it’s just a little all over the place—there’s a framing tale,
and then the story of the boys entering the woods and getting lost during a treasure hunt
where they meet strange creatures who are in the middle of their own drama
it sounds pretty standard, but there’s a lot going on, and it’s not terribly well-explained. add to that the fact that the style of the artwork changes from fantasy
to a more realistic style
to this other slick-but-shallow style when the youngest boy is fantasizing that is by far the least interesting, visually.
but the biggest problem is that there are a lot of pages in black-and-white. and it’s not a case where the visual transitions are mirroring narrative transitions; there are some scenes that switch between color and black-and-white without a clear reason, which is what makes me think that this is an arc-only phenomenon. at least, i hope it is, because on some of the black-and-white pages it’s hard to tell what’s even going on
and when you get the treat of color pages like this
it’s hard to be as pleased with this bloodless image
so, we’ll see in march. and maybe, even if the colorless pages remain so, they will be more appealing in a book than on a computer screen. either way, i’m going to have this in my hands, because pretty pages are very pretty, and worth shelling out for.
plus, adorable porg-cousins!
oh, and i didn’t notice the Over the Garden Wall namedrop in the synopsis until after i’d read it, but i definitely noted the similarities while i was reading it, and that little kid is very greglike. so fun.
3.5 rounded up because the parts i liked i really liked. full review with specific pros and cons coming asap.