Author: Andy Harkness
Genre: Children's/Picture Book, Fiction
Disclaimer – This book was read in the ARC* form. There may be some differences in this version than from what appears in other copies of this book.
Publication: February 2021
An interesting children's book with an interesting art style. The fact that instead of digitally drawn graphics and cartoon characters, that these are made of clay is fascinating. It has the theme of a Tim Burton stop-animation film without being as dark. The colors themselves are darker, but there are nice brighter touches of color that give a wide range of schemes to look at.
The story itself along, with the words, are lackluster. There's no real rhythm and very little progress throughout the piece. But the art itself makes up for that. The pictures are descriptive enough and propel the adventure forward. The author could probably have gotten away without the use of words because the pictures just tell so much.
As previously said, the art method was beautifully done. The detail put in brought the images to life. At the beginning of the book, Harkness has a short message that contains, "I can say my fingerprints are literally all over this book!" In multiple places, such as the lily pads on the pond page, you can actually see his fingerprints. That is such an impactful element that reminds the reader that this was all done by hand. That the author spent so much time working on the smallest of details to create this gorgeous kid's book.
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*ARC, or Advance Reading Copy, is a pre-published, nearly complete version of a new book that is given out before the official release date. The aim is to gain reviews that can coincide with the launching and to get booksellers interested in selling the book. It is normal for there to be changes from the ARC to the actual published copy since this form is an uncorrected proof.