Early Book Review: Jellaby: The Lost Monster (Jellaby #1) by Kean Soo

Jellaby: The Lost Monster (Jellaby #1) by Kean Soo is a reprint of a graphic novel originally published March 1st 2008. This printing is scheduled for release on March 1 2014. The story follows the quiet Portia, who has just moved to a new neighborhood with her mom. Adjusting to life with a missing father is hard enough, but school is boring and her classmates are standoffish. Even Portia's mom seems distant. Things start looking up when Portia takes a moonlit trip into woods behind her house and discovers a sweet-natured purple monster. Life with Jellaby is a lot more exciting, and leads to another friend and adventures.

Jellaby: The Lost Monster is a well drawn graphic novel that combines a cute monster and serious matters like bullies, a missing father, and neglect. Do not expect answers for any of the issues raised, like just where Portia's father is, or where Jellaby came from, or where the heck Jason's family is. The artwork and storytelling is well done, with a great build up that leaves readers itching to get their hands on the sequel Jellaby: Monster in the City. The art is heavy on the pinks and lavenders, with a very cute feel. In reading more about the creation of the graphic novel (included at the end of the book) I discovered that the colors were used because the book was intended to be in black and white at one point and that particular color palette is the easiest the transfer. I liked the mix of cute images and the introduction to some heavier subject matter and themes, which makes this a graphic navel that will speak to all age groups in different ways.

I would recommend Jellaby: The Lost Monster to readers that enjoy graphic novels that can be enjoyed on several levels and break out of the mold. While this is not the best kid friendly graphic novel I have read lately, I am glad that I picked it up and read it.

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