Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Thumbs up for "Welcome to Monster Isle" and "Julie Black Belt"

Book time is typically tough. It's the end of the day, so I'm tired, and I'm also eager to finally put the boys to sleep and get off the clock. Book time is doubly tough when the boys want me to read something I'm sick of. So it's been a good couple of weeks around here thanks to four new books. Last week I mentioned the Octonauts books - - and my review of the second book was clearly too harsh, since my son has insisted I read it every night this week.

But this post is about two books written by Oliver Chin, both of which my oldest son adores.

Welcome to Monster Isle tells a simple story of a family who gets shipwrecked on an island full of monsters (quetzalcoatls, griffins, and more), runs around a bit, and then goes home. The story's not really much to talk about, but Jeff Miracola's vibrant and dynamic art makes each page a pleasure:

At the book's companion site, you'll find desktop wallpapers and coloring pages for each monster, as well as a screensaver. Also, here's Jeff's blog.

The same combination of straightforward story and colorful art are on display in Julie Black Belt.

With art by Charlene Chua, Julie Black Belt features a girl who decides that with a little hard work, kung fu can be fun.

As with Monster Isle, there's a website for Julie Black Belt complete with downloads. And here's Charlene's blog and Etsy shop.

You can find both books for about $13 at Amazon.

*Previously: Kung Fu, the restaurant.

*Buy plush monsters at eBay.