Happy Sunday, part two!
I've gotten more into graphic novels recently, which means I was quite excited to read The King of Kazoo.
It's a quirky look at a very different universe, where there are kingdoms, magic, but some teamwork and partnerships will help get everyone exactly where they need to be at the end!
Expected publication: July 26th 2016 by GRAPHIX
Format read: Finished copy via publisher
Scatterbrained Cornelius, King of Kazoo, and his intrepid daughter, Bing, explore a mysterious cave at the top of Mount Kazoo. There they discover a famous alchemist named Quaf is planning a dangerous and forbidden experiment. Now Cornelius, Bing, and the brilliant royal inventor Torq must go all out to stop Quaf before his crazy undertaking threatens the entire kingdom.
Norm Feutil takes us to Kazoo, a land where canine-like creatures run the world. Bing is the clever daughter of King Cornelius, who is starting to learn magic and find her place in the world. However, it's a constant balancing act, as she also tries to deal with her scatterbrained father.
When a mysterious tunnel appears near Mount Kazoo, it's up to Bing, royal inventor Torq and Cornelius to save the day...
The one thing that kept running through my mind while reading was that the King of Kazoo felt very reminiscent of The Emperor's New Clothes, which is not a bad thing. Because it's also a tale of learning hubris and the consequences of said hubris, but the characters learn to stand up to the behavior before it's too late.
Feutil does a nice job of showing just why the hubris displayed by King Cornelius exists, and how it's very much driven by the need for recognition, which I think many a young reader will likely understand. However, rather then indulge in Cornelius's mistakes, Feutil spends most of the book showing how there very much is a better way, as evidenced by daughter Bing's pursuit of magic and gentle understanding of the common man, and Torq's inventions.
The mystery of the Mount Kazoo tunnel is entertaining, and Feutil deftly includes a few other lessons as the trio seek to solve the mystery. I especially liked the reminder that though it's scary, it always pays off to tell the truth, especially as the trio face off against a society of larger-than-life frogs.
Where the book really shines though, is the understanding that teamwork is often the best solution to solve challenging (and timely!) situations, especially as Cornelius learns that he can't always be the star. Though the ending felt a tad abrupt, it's overall a very worthwhile story.
With bright graphics and anamorphic animals, this is a great book for younger readers.
Feuti has crafted an intelligent and entertaining story about hubris in leadership, and the importance of teamwork in solving complex and challenging situations. This is the type of graphic novel that will inspire young readers to think deeply about how they can work cooperatively in a team, and the type of people that they shouldn't learn to emulate.
It's growth in novels at its best. Highly recommend for younger readers all around.