Friday, July 3, 2015

Rutabaga the adventure chef by Eric Colossal

Ok, first in the interests of absolute honesty, I have to admit that the first thing that came to mind when I read this is a book called Wonton Soup by James Stokoe, which is absolutely NOT appropriate for children.

*pause while you all go google it*

So, moving on! The story opens with a mysterious, round-headed fellow searching the deepest, darkest jungle for a legendary sword...on which grow Legendary Bell Topped Mushrooms! Delectable! He's Rutabaga, the Adventure Chef, and after a little explanation to the adventurers searching for the sword (really, he just wants the cool mushrooms) joins forces with them. They're trying to save their town from a marauding monster, he's just looking for new tastes and exquisite dishes. What can a chef with nothing but a magical pot do to help?

This is a fun, silly, story with equal amounts of recipes and monster-slaying. The ARC was in black and white, but the final book will be in color and, judging from the cover, Rutabaga at least has darker skin (although honestly he looks rather more like his namesake than a person anyways...). The art is busy with lots of thick lines and vigorous activity. It grabs the eye and moves the reader on to the next chapter of the story immediately, although struggling readers may find it more difficult to follow the action.

Verdict: Fans of adventure/fantasy with a touch of comedy will enjoy this quirky graphic novel. It's hard to think of a really good read-alike to compare it to, since it's fairly unique in my experience, but it should be a hit with older middle grade kids who want something fun to relax with over the summer.

ISBN: 9781419713804; Published March 2015 by Amulet/Abrams; ARC provided by publisher at ALA Midwinter 2015; Purchased for the library


Ms. Yingling said...

This was indeed rather singular. Not completely convinced my students would like it. Will stick with Dragonbreath for now.

Jennifer said...

Yeah, very unique. I liked it and it's one I think will be fairly easy to booktalk, but I have a lot of kids who like this kind of quirky adventure/fantasy. Dragonbreath never lets us down!