Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Adventures in Burrwood Forest by John Lechner

Adventures in Burrwood Forest by John Lechner
published May 2007 by Candlewick
56 pages (hardcover), ages 6-10

I wanted to like this book. I really did. But I just can't seem to connect with graphic novels for children, and this one is no exception.

The book begins with a tour of the setting, the Burrs' homes, and an introduction to the Burrs. Sticky Burr is unlike the others; he paints and likes music instead of wanting to irritate things by getting stuck on them, which is what every good Burr should do, I suppose. Some of the other Burrs make fun of him and even want to kick him out of the community, which leads Sticky Burr to go off on his own and accidentally have an adventure involving a twisted old tree and a group of fireflies.

I might have enjoyed this story slightly more if I wasn't interrupted every few pages with an informational insert (e.g. Insects I Have Known, Dangers in the Forest, The Maze Tree, Sticky Situations, etc.). I didn't feel like they added all that much to the story and wish they could have been integrated seamlessly or taken out completely. I was initially drawn to the book because of the illustrations - the cartoon Burrs are cute, and I do appreciate all of the shades of greens and browns used. But cute illustrations aren't enough to carry a story, and this one was just a tad too scattered and a bit flat for my taste.



Jennifer said...

Well, we own this but it's not a big circulator at our library. It isn't really one I'd hand to non-gn fans anyways and it certainly didn't enthuse me. Best to start with something classic like Tintin or Asterix, I always say. Or a modern classic like Babymouse or Marvel Adventures.

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