Review By HOMA WOODRUM
This book has the makings of a hit – I read through my review copy of Julia’s House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke and everything just suits the book so well. The illustrations, the colors, and the titular Julia herself. I love how in just a few pages you can get an idea in a picture book of what sort of person a character is, not because the narrator tells us they are nice or that they are kind but because we see it from their actions. I hate to engage in comparison when I think this book is fabulous on its own but if you like Neil Gaiman’s children’s literature (whether it is Blueberry Girl or The Graveyard Book) then you will love this.
We’re able to instantly suspend our disbelief and find that anything is possible in a world where a story begins, “Julia’s house came to town and settled by the sea. That evening there was a warm fire and toast and tea.”
Julia is independent and intelligent but decides she could use company so she invites, via a sign outside her door, lost creatures to take refuge by her hearth. It is lively and crowded but Julia has to get the mermaids and trolls and my favorite, the patchwork cat, to help around the house so everyone can enjoy the space.
The author is also the author of the Zita the Spacegirl series praised by Amy Kraft (if you love intelligent writing about kidlit and more, you really should be reading Media Macaroni!) so we know he knows smart female characters but if your kids aren’t reading graphic novels with you yet, this is a fantastic starter. I really hope there are more books about red-haired, plucky Julia. (I am certainly thinking of making my daughter a little patchwork cat patterned after the book.)
Highly recommended, a must read/buy.
This book will be released in September 2014.