Everyone in the Super Happy Magic Forest loves picnics, fun and dancing. But that all changes when the Mystical Crystals of Life were stolen. Old Oak blames the goblins for stealing the crystals and sends a team of heroes to adventure to Goblin Tower to bring the crystals back. Five heroes set out and travel through one region to the next. They encounter frightening creatures like penguins. They must brave the dark dangers of the Super Creepy Haunted Forest. They survive dungeons and even bees. But is their quest doomed even though they are brave? It’s up to these five heroes to unravel who really stole the crystals.
This picture book is surprising and completely awesome. Opening it, I did not expect to find the rather sarcastic tone that makes this book work so very well. The main text of the book sets the larger scenes for the book but the real action takes place in the speech bubbles and the illustrations. The scenes are drawn large almost as maps and the various characters are scattered throughout, each having their own encounters along the way. It’s almost like a video game map, each scene a new level to explore.
Throughout the book, humor plays a large role. The book has more of a feel of a graphic novel or comic though it only has a few panels at times, usually it is one large image. Frightening tree stumps refer to guidebooks for their evil phrases. Walruses argue about sending out more penguins to the fray. Readers have to scan the page for the elusive dungeon key. It’s all busy, frenzied perfection.
Sure to appeal to video-game-playing children, this picture book will work best with slightly older children who will also enjoy the humor the most. Appropriate for ages 6-9.
Reviewed from copy received from Scholastic.