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Monday, November 9
Written by Eoin Colfer, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
My rating: ★★½
Date of publication: September 29, 2015
Age: 4 - 8 years
Themes: imaginary friends, friendship,
Did you know that sometimes, with a little electricity, or luck, or even magic, an imaginary friend might appear when you need one? An imaginary friend like Fred. Fred floated like a feather in the wind until Sam, a lonely little boy, wished for him and, together, they found a friendship like no other. But Fred knows what happens when Sam grows up and is no longer lonely. How long will their friendship last?
This is Eoin Colfer's first picture book and it is super long. Cute, but long. Perhaps he's just a bit too used to making chapter books? Because this just goes on and on. The story could have been trimmed down a bit; the length would make for a tough readaloud. So, while not a storytime pick, it'd still be fun for kids to read on their own. Sam and Fred are adorable, and the friendship(s) they build do teach a good lesson. Some dashes of humor also keeps it light. Good story, just...long.
The illustrations? Normally I love Jeffers' work, but this time, it didn't quite float my boat. It's composed of simple pen-line drawings with some digitally added dots of blue and yellow for the imaginary friends. It's a bit too simple and the dots actually made it a bit hard on the eyes. I appreciate that he did something different for the imaginary characters, to help delineate, but he's done better work on other books.
So do I recommend it? With how much I love The Adventures of Beekle, this will not be topping my list of great imaginary friends books. But with such a well-known, popular author and illustrator, I'm sure many people will still enjoy it. Not so much my taste, but you can try it out if you want.
Find it at your library or on Amazon