*****2/13/08 Update - Read the OWTK Interview with WorryWoo creator Andi Green!*****
OWTK is proud and extremely excited to introduce you to The WorryWoo Monsters - a stunningly beautiful new series of children's books (and adorable stuffed animals) that aims to tackle the emotions we all face (loneliness, insecurity, confusion, etc).
WorryWoo Week is going to look something like this: today is the OWTK review of The Lonely Little Monster, a positively gorgeous book, and an awesome giveaway where you can win your very own first-edition autographed hardback copy of The Lonely Little Monster and a big, cuddly Nola plush doll. In the coming days, OWTK will bring you a Q&A with WorryWoo creator/author/illustrator Andi Green. After that, an exclusive sneak peak at what's in the WorryWoo pipeline.
The Lonely Little Monster
Nola is, as the title suggests, a lonely little monster who is desperately in need of a friend or, we are to imagine, a mere passer-by. She is flat-out miserable because of her loneliness for the first portion of the book and eventually cries an ocean of tears at her misfortune. The reader feels Nola's pain and empathizes with her simple wish of companionship. It's the pouty way in which Nola explains her emotions that we understand just how young of a monster she is. Kids will respond to her plea and the manner in which she longs for a playmate. It's in her bountiful tears, half way through the book, that she finally gains the company she desires.
Therein lies a subtle message for kids and adults alike - never be afraid to be honest about your feelings even if it means being moved to tears for it's inside that display of raw emotion that we can overcome our fears and longings. That happens to be exactly what Nola learns when through her damp eyes she spots tiny critters in the wake of the sea. Turns out those who we long to be near often feel the same way about us and are sometimes right under our noses.
The story is sweet and simple yet at the same time carries with it a subtle heaviness, after all this is a powerful emotion being examined here. It's the illustrations, however, that set The Lonely Little Monster apart from virtually every other children's book on the market. Andi Green's watercolors are without a doubt some of the prettiest artwork to accompany literature that this writer has ever seen. It is a true work of art from start to finish.
At first, I did have this complaint about the book : The reader wants to spend quality time on each page, to fully appreciate Mrs. Green's depictions of Nola and her surroundings, but there is an overall lack of text from page to page. This structure makes the reader feel as though they must progress through the book too rapidly. I feel that maybe there was so much wonderful art ready for this first book and a strong desire to share that art with the world that the text was spread out a bit too thin. But it turns out this isn't a complaint at all. The book's layout is used to encourage, rather than deter, folks to spend more time on each page AFTER the initial read. So, we typically flip through the book twice at each sitting - once to read/hear the story and again to admire the artwork and the story that the pictures tell.
Any book lover should rush to pick up The Lonely Little Monster for themselves and their small children. I would put the ideal age for this book at 4-8 but as with many kids books, the real age range is much wider.
THE LONELY LITTLE MONSTER GIVEAWAY!
For your chance to win, simply leave a comment here telling me about your favorite childhood stuffed animal/doll/action figure/imaginary friend. Do so before midnight (Eastern Time) on Friday the 15th and consider yourself entered in the giveaway.
Winners to be announces the next day, 2/16.
Thanks and best of luck!