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Jellaby Vol. 1 Hardcover – February 5, 2008

15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Ten-year-old Portia Bennett meets Jellaby, a huge purple monster, when it tries to eat her flashlight while she's out in the woods iin the middle of the night. It doesn’t say anything, and is actually very timid and sweet, so Portia takes it home and feeds it a tuna sandwich. Life becomes increasingly exciting as she tries to keep Jellaby a secret. Lonely Jason discovers Jellaby's existence, and helps Portia care for the monster. When Jellaby points out a photograph from the newspaper, the kids think the monster has given them a clue to its home, but they’ll need to visit Toronto to learn more. Portia and Jason have the physical proportions of the Peanuts gang, and Jellaby is too cute to be scary, but Soo grounds the story in a fairly gritty contemporary reality, where kids deal with bullies and well-meaning adults try to help. Clear, clean lines and easy-to-follow panel layouts round out the package. Grades 4-7. --Kat Kan


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (February 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423103378
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423103370
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #642,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on February 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
You ever been in love? I don't mean the passing fancy of a crush or the slight flutter you feel when you're fifteen and desperately trying NOT to make eye contact with the object of your affection. I'm talking gut-sucking, heart-churning, complete and utter abstraction, distraction, fractal, fantastic obsession, elation, and absolution. The love that sucks out your breath and leaves you a hollow shaking wreck until you see your beloved again. That kind of love. I don't get that kind of feeling very often. It takes a special somebody. Someone with big blue eyes, a cute smile, maybe a jagged set of lower canines complemented nicely by a red-striped tail. Someone just like Jellaby. Man, the moment I read a mere three panels of this graphic novel I was a goner. "In love" doesn't even begin to cover it. I save my adoration for works of children's fiction that go above and beyond the call of duty and "Jellaby" is one of those comics that can charm you with the merest sigh or shuffle of the feet. With great art and a story to match, Kean Soo knocks it out of the park with this amazing comic that has successfully made the leap from screen to page.

It wasn't long ago that Portia and her mother moved to a new town to start their lives over. Portia hasn't made many friends since then, and she's just going through the motions in her classes as well. What better time to discover a huge purple monster in the back yard then? Naming the strange mute creature Jellaby, Portia unwittingly enlists the help of fellow student Jason, as they two search for a way to find the their new friend's true home. Their search may connect to Portia's missing father, a series of odd dreams she's been having, and a door that's miles and miles away.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nicola Mansfield on February 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
Reason for Reading: I've wanted to read this since I first heard of it, then I read a short story in a recent Flight anthology. Somebody recently reviewed it in one of the challenges I'm in and that prompted me to finally read it.

A quick read with cute illustrations. Certainly more serious than I thought it would be, which came as a surprise. A cute purple monster just makes you think it's going to be a silly book but it's not and it's not for young children either as there are serious themes, mainly Portia's absent father and her friend Jason's obviously neglectful parents who are never home. Portia also has nightmares which are disturbing and could be frightening to younger or sensitive children, so do pay attention to the recommended age of ten plus. The book isn't silly but that doesn't mean it isn't funny. It has it's moments and I did enjoy Jellaby as a character. However, I just didn't connect with the book as other's have done. The children felt much younger than they are supposed to be which was off-putting and the fact that Portia doesn't know where her dad is seems strange once it is apparent that he is somewhere. I'm pretty sure I know what happened to him, but we will have to find out in the second book. This book is also very much a "Part 1" as it ends with them going off on a journey and the words "to be continued". I know most people love this book but "just OK" for me; the combination of cute and seriousness didn't work for me, plus I had a lot of unanswered questions. I also questioned the nature of Jellaby, whether he was an "imaginary" friend, evidence points otherwise and yet still the question lingers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T. Jonker on April 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
There are graphic novels that stroll in, hit their mark, and bring the GN lover what they're looking for. The recent "Amulet: The Stonekeeper" comes to mind. If you're into the genre, you'll be a fan - but it's not necessarily recruiting new believers. Then there are your 741.5's that have the ability to bring readers into the fold who have not considered said fold an option. "Jellaby" is one of those books. Honest emotional moments, humor, and mystery combine to make one of the best books of Aught 8.

Portia is an outsider, but not for the usual reasons. She's smart and thoughtful. Her intelligence draws ire from her classmates and leaves her bored in her studies. One night, after a strange dream, Portia discovers a scared monster behind her house. How the purple creature ended up in her yard is not clear, but Portia is determined to keep her new friend a secret while she figures things out. In her efforts to keep "Jellaby" hush hush, she inadvertently pulls classmate Jason into the mix. Now they're partners. A tip from Jellaby about her (his?) possible origins results in a secret trip to Toronto to find out the truth. The story ends just before the threesome reach the big city, with plans for a second book to wrap up the tale.

I can't help but think of one of my favorite movies, "The Iron Giant", when reading this book. There is something about an outsider finding friendship with a really outsider that draws you in. The illustrations are on point throughout, using just a few colors to get the job done. Overall, the effect is an artful and beautifully subtle story that leaves you eager for more.
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By Miss Print VINE VOICE on December 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
I spent the last two weeks writing two 20ish page papers about graphic novels. I can rattle off titles, a brief history of the term, benefits of the format, the difference between graphic novels and comics (trick question!), and even how to develop a graphic novel collection at your library. Having become one of those experts on graphic novels without reading any graphic novels, I decided to read Jellaby yesterday. I also decided to cross-post its review as this week's CLW post and my inaugural graphic novel review. (I could have merged this with another category, but graphic novels/comics are so unique I thought they needed a different category.)

Having read Kean Soo's Eisner nominated graphic novel Jellaby (2008) in a couple of hours, I can see why Lea over at Library Voice selected it as a reluctant reader pick. How cool is it for a child who dislikes reading to pick up a title and be able to read it in a few days?

This story does not, however, start with Jellaby. It starts with a ten-year-old girl. Portia does not like her new school. In fact, almost everything about school bores her. Even having the freedom to write her book report on "Reason and Emotion: Classical and Romantic Philosophies in Tom Stoppard's Arcadia" doesn't do much to challenge Portia let alone engage her. Liking school is even harder when no one in school seems especially fond of Portia. With the added problems of a missing father and a busy mother, it's no wonder Portia seems less than happy.

When Portia hears something outside her window in the middle of the night, she isn't sure what to expect. But being a resourceful child, Portia takes a flashlight and goes out to investigate.

She finds a large purple monster who tries to eat said flashlight.
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