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The Kurdles Hardcover – May 1, 2015
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“Goodin fills each panel with cinematic, hand-painted scenes that, while certainly for kids, are slightly eerie, though never truly scary. The toylike creatures and Muppetesque house are in appealingly sharp contrast to the soft, natural tones of the surrounding forest, which only serves to emphasize the off-kilter atmosphere.”
- Sarah Hunter, Booklist
“[The Kurdles] is a charming blend of Enid Blyton whimsy and Moominvalley strangeness. ... This over-sized hardback emphasizes Goodin’s beautiful hand-painted watercolor pages throughout, calling to mind childhood picture books and dreams of soft toys adventuring in the magical forests of the mind. It’s a quirky and gentle tale, mixed with humor throughout.”
- Laura Sneddon, Publishers Weekly
“The Kurdles is a brief, yet fantastical journey that imaginatively chronicles something so simple as a little help from one's friends. ... Slightly older children should find the characters and situations compelling and giggle-inducing, while the magic of the book won't be lost on adults, either.”
- Zach Hollwedel, Under the Radar
“Bold, beguiling and beautiful, The Kurdles is the kind of book you will remember forever.”
- Win Wiacek, Now Read This!
“This is a great little graphic novel for younger kids. It’s gentle without ever being precious, and positive without relying on a false upbeat quality that ignores any negativity or darkness. ... Goodin... provides art that mixes wonder with clarity... It’s also clear that he’s having as much fun as potential readers probably will, and that gentle enthusiasm bleeds through when taking it all in.”
- John Seven, Vermicious
About the Author
By day,Robert Goodin works in the animation industry (American Dad, Rugrats). By night―and on lunch breaks―he’s a comics artist/illustrator whose work has appeared in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Mome, and Project: Romantic. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Georgene.
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Why I picked it up: I love graphic novels and the title intrigued me.
Why I finished it: Even though I was given a synopsis of the book before I even picked it up, I didn't know exactly what to expect. Books about talking animals don't usually grab my interest because they tend to get somewhat trite after a while. As a reader, I want to feel like something about this group is different and likable than every other oddball assortment of characters that are like it. Goodin's credentials as an animator for some of my favorite shows growing up (As Told by Ginger and The Wild Thornberrys, among others (I just dated myself, like, wow....)) certainly comes across in the plot and the character design. I loved that he has Sally as a traditional stuffed animal and used her as a sort of grounding point for Pentapus (a Pentapus), Phineas (a scarecrow), and Hank (a creature with the head of a unicorn and the body of a man). Both the story and the world are imaginative and engaging, taking the reader on a trip into the woods to a modern wonderland occupied by a group of somewhat unorthodox misfits. I liked that the characters aren't instantly endeared to each other, that there's an element of uneasiness to Sally's helping the Kurdles in exchange for taking her back to the road. But we like the characters and the fact that they're more than a little quirky and well, human. It shows that we're not alone being scared or weirded out or anxious or unsure. Goodin's aim to create something that will engage kids over and over has been achieved, providing the reader with a story full of small details that it almost demands multiple readings. It' a twist on the lost thing looking for home story that is sure to enchant readers of all ages.