Monday, November 17, 2014

Hector Fox and the Giant Quest - a book review

Quote of the day:  

"Don't just read the easy stuff.  You may be entertained by it, but you will never grow from it."  - Jim Rohn

Today's featured book:

Author and Illustrator:  Astrid Sheckels

Let's peek inside shall we?  Oh you are going to love these......

About the book:

This book is truly amazing and the illustrations are individual masterpieces.  This is the second book written and illustrated by Astrid Sheckels.  Children 3-8 will be delighted with this whimsical and charming tale.  

Hector Fox has his friends over and is reading a fairytale to them.  When he finished the story little Lucy Skunk verbalizes that she wishes all fairytales were true.  Once her wish is cast it motivates the friends to go on a real, live, giant hunt....just like in the book.  They mobilize their group and find themselves at the Forbidden Marsh hoping beyond hope a giant will found.

I love the fact that the animals speak English and are dressed in dapper Edwardian clothes. Even though they are all of a different species they love to be together, hang out and read.  Their sense of adventure pulls the reader into the story and the depiction of the giant is not scary for young readers.  The colour and detail of the illustrations makes you want to frame each one and hang them on your wall.  

I am sure this is destined to be a classic as it has every element in it to make it so.  I highly, highly recommend this book.  Both kids and adults alike will pick it up again and again to enjoy and especially appreciate the creative and beautiful artwork.

About the author/illustrator:

Astrid Sheckels cannot remember a time when she was not telling or illustrating stories, especially ones involving imaginary animals. A native of western Massachusetts and growing up in an artistic family, Astrid spent her childhood playing outside, using her imagination, and drawing. She studied Fine Art at Greenfield Community College and now works as a full-time professional artist.
Her debut picture book as an author/illustrator is the award-winning Nic and Nellie (Islandport Press, 2013), which has quickly been followed by her second book, Hector Fox and the Giant Quest (Premiere, 2014). As an illustrator, her other award-winning titles include The Scallop Christmas(Islandport Press, 2009) and The Fish House Door (Islandport Press, 2010). She has illustrated the picture book Hope Somewhere in America (Twin Lights Publishers, 2012) and the two chapter books, Black Cloud andTennessee Rose, in the Horse Diaries series (Random House, 2012). 

She also has a number of additional children’s books in work, including several picture storybooks (The Rabbit and the Gnome, Holger the Dane, Sir Ursalot and the Dragon), an alphabet book (March of the Mice), and a book series (Max & Friends).

Astrid’s illustrations are primarily done in watercolor. Starting with a story board, she creates countless sketches and pencil drawings in the process of developing the layout of the book. If the story is realistic, Astrid goes on location photo shoots to discover the right setting and bases each of her illustrated characters on real people. Many of her friends and neighbors have modeled for her. 

                  Book Review Rating:  9 (Close to Perfection!)

Read on and read always!  Have a great day.  


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