Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Book Review: Sofa Boy by Scott Langteau

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Author: Scott Langteau
Illustrator: Rion Vernon
Publisher: Shake the Moon Books
Summary: (Taken from Goodreads)
A young boy discovers that lounging on his favorite sofa playing videogames around the clock is not all it's cracked up to be. His lack of attention to life's basics such as bathing, good food, fresh air, sunlight, and old fashioned exercise wreaks havoc on his young body, and before long our little lad finds himself a prisoner of his own designing, as well as the fascination of many an onlooker as he becomes literally joined at the hip with his increasingly disgusting environment.

Overall Rating: 5/5

I found this one at the LA Festival of Books. My mom and I were walking down a line of booths and both of us just stopped to stare at Scott Langteau's booth, because the artwork is so beautiful and eye-catching. Honestly, I have never seen a picture book as well designed as this one.

There are three things I look for in picture books: quality of illustration, story, and musicality of the words. Sofa Boy gets top marks in all three categories.

Like I said, the illustrations made my mom and me stop dead in our tracks. My niece loves them, too. Whereas a lot of illustrations tend towards simple, static pictures, these pictures are so full of life. They're interesting to look at, and it takes awhile to turn the pages, because there is so  much to see in each page.

I was at first worried that this was more of a boy-book and my niece wouldn't relate to it, but it wasn't an issue. The story is one that all kids can relate to. We are so technology-obsessed that it's easy for kids to sit on the couch all day playing video games, or watching movies. This tells a story of a boy who sits on the couch all day and gets stuck to it, earning him a place in a museum. It's silly enough not to be scary, but realistic enough that children learn that sitting on the couch all day isn't a good thing. I also appreciated the humor that went along with it. While teaching a lesson, this story still has its funny moments.

There is a distinct rhythm to the words, which I always love in children's books. I feel like children's stories should be more like poetry than anything, because children are so enchanted by rhythms and rhymes. It also helps them to remember the words later. My niece loves listening to this book multiple times (and I love reading it multiple times!). Within a few readings, she had many of the lines memorized -- always a sign of a good book.

This is a book both you and your child can enjoy. You will not be disappointed by Sofa Boy.