Lost Beast, Found Friend – written by Josh Trujillo, illustrated by Nick Kennedy

 Lost Beast, Found Friend – written by Josh Trujillo, illustrated by Nick Kennedy, Oni Press, 9781620107423, 2020

Format: PDF (digital)

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 2

What did you like about the book? Keelee is collecting fruit for her village one day when she encounters something new: a purple, fuzzy, four-legged animal that she lovingly dubs “Beast.”  Beast is far from home so the two fast friends embark on a journey to find his family.

The digital illustrations are bright and easy to see; pairing this with the short length of the story makes this a good pick for a young audience.  The unique look of Keelee and her fellow villagers (purple skin, no fingers or hair, etc.) immediately informs readers that they’re in a different world with new possibilities; a world where strange creatures like Beast could be around every corner!  The design of Beast re-enforces that he is a friendly creature.  Beast and Keelee often share similar expressions to demonstrate how alike they are, despite how different they look.  This overall cute story has a great message embedded.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  This book is fun and even a little adorable but it leaves a lot to be desired.  Keelee’s story is told in rhyme but the rhythm is often clunky and the meter inconsistent.  In addition, the lovely illustrations vary little and don’t offer much beyond just reinforcing the text.  This theme and message can be found in plenty of other, more exciting, titles.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Ages 2-3 will enjoy the illustrations and short story.

Who should buy this book? This is only a shelf-filler.  Not recommended for most collections. 

Where would you shelve it ? Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Melissa McCleary, Pembroke Public Library, Pembroke, MA

Date of review: April 22, 2020

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