March 24th, 2008

[baseball] sweet lou

READ JELLABY!

Over the weekend I watched a film that failed to develop a fairly prominent plot point tying into the characterization of a main character and then the very next day I read a book that managed to acknowledge the same dilemma and begin presenting its resolution in volume 1!

I love when things work out that way.

THE FILM:



I didn't hate this movie because I am not capable of hating any movie that presents a universe full of wonder and oddities and pushes people to live outside of the box and have fun doing it. But I really would have liked to be part of the editing process...when the screenplay was being written. The loose ends are driving me crazy! Because the young boy character who has cute, big ears just like my brother--his whole deal is that he can't make friends his own age. By the end of the film, he still doesn't have a friend. He hasn't had a conversation with another kid. Or even had another kid wipe their buggers on him.

If I had watched this film as an impressionable child I would have given up hope. And started stalking accountants. (Yes, I laughed every time they called Jason Bateman a mutant. It was FUNNY.)

THE BOOK:



This is the story of a girl, her purple pet monster dragon, and the boy at school who likes carrots so much he can see you from a mile away*.

Already in the first volume we see Portia meet and brave these obstacles:
- Fear of following purple dragon monsters who are very hungry and want you to take them home
- Leaving your comfort zone to stop bullies bullying other people
- Cryptic hobos
- Being lonely and needing a friend

Sometimes the simplest challenges can be retold so powerfully and that's exactly what Kean Soo does in Jellaby. His protagonist, Portia, is a fantastic heroine--one that I'd love any boy or girl to read about and emulate.

It's lovely and fun and surprisingly wistful. Oh, and freaking adorable. Also, Jeff Smith says you should read it on the back cover. So do!

*Okay, no, that's not actually in the book.