29.4.08

Loving Jellaby


I’ve been meaning to talk about Jellaby here for awhile. Jellaby is a fantastic new graphic novel for young readers by Toronto artist/writer Kean Soo. It’s about a little girl named Portia who finds a purple monster named Jellaby and is a real classic of the girl meets monster genre.

My youngest son was so taken with Jellaby that he drew this picture in homage to the book. I posted it here without realising he had copied it from page 87 of the book leading to a few online charges of plagiarism. It was my fault for not correctly making the connection and the reason this happened is that said son had become proprietary about a book for the first time in his life and had squirreled my copy away in his room before I could read it.

I’ve asked my little Jellaby fan to give me a bit of background on the book. Here’s what he said:

Portia is the main character of the book. She’s a girl who never thinks she can handle can handle anything, and she mostly doesn’t. Her plan is always to do something that would be a bit useful and she thinks that by then she will come up with another plan. Mostly she does.

Jason is kind of my favourite character because sometimes he’s quite a trickster. An example is when he’s on the phone to Portia’s mom and blocked his nose so he sounded like a grown-up and the mom fell for it.

The first thing I should say about Jason is that he’s addicted to just about everything: Godzilla, ramen, Dr. Seuss, ninjas and Mario games. He watches too many TV shows and plays too many video games. He looks at screens a bit too much.

The book Jellaby is very funny, especially the part where Jason puts his yellow hoodie on, pretending he’s a ninja. Really it’s supposed to be black and it looks really stupid.

I wouldn’t be scared to meet Jellaby because I watch a lot of Godzilla movies and I’m used to seeing giant purple monsters. Well, not really purple ones. Jellaby is not as big as Godzilla, doesn’t destroy buildings and he watches TV. He can actually fit in a building.

Jellaby is a purple monster that people think doesn’t have any thoughts but he really does have feelings and stuff. He’s kind of like a grown-up who didn’t go to school.

So let me just repeat: homage. The drawing was an homage. And I hope Kean Soo can forgive us. We're now looking forward to volume two of Jellaby. Meantime, you can visit The Secret Friend Society if you want to see more.

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