My Wicked Cool Overlooked Book for this month is Holbrook: A Lizard's Tale, written by Bonny Becker and illustrated by Abby Carter. Like Kelly's selection at Big A little a, and Colleen's selection at Chasing Ray, this title hasn't gone wholly unrecognized. Holbrook was nominated for a Cybils award for Middle Grade Fiction last year, but it was targeted to a younger age range than the titles that made the short list. Wordy Girls (of which Bonny Becker is a member) also reviewed Holbrook, and Kirby Larson liked it (according to bookshelves of doom), but I couldn't find any other reviews out there in the Kidlitosphere. Which is too bad, because I really enjoyed this book. It's an excellent choice for early readers who are looking for something beyond the standard series titles.
Holbrook: A Lizard's Tale is the story of a young lizard artist who lives in a small town in the desert, but dreams of bigger things. It's a chapter book, with frequent illustrations, touching on important topics. Here's the conclusion from my review:
"What I found most impressive about this book is that it deals with relatively mature concepts (the meaning of and need for art, the existence of sweat shops, and the possibility of betrayal, for instance), yet it manages to remain accessible, humorous, and non-threatening for younger readers. Like Holbrook, this book is much bigger than it appears at first glance. This makes Holbrook: A Lizard's Tale a wonderful and unexpected find among books targeted to elementary school kids."
You can find the full review here. This is a book well worth checking out for the seven to ten year old set. I highly recommend it.
P.S. Don't miss the 7-Imp entry, either.
© 2009 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved.