I was a bit surprised.
No, I didn’t mind his cute, little tushy; I was taken aback by the fact that I was a reading teacher being asked to evaluate books without any words. Many moons ago, before I took up the cause of the secondary struggling reader, I used wordless books for teaching story-telling and writing. Wordless books are especially helpful with language acquisition students and pre-operational children. For older children, wordless books offer a natural look at story structure (story mapping), elements (dialogue, sequencing) and development (character, plot). Many English-Language Arts teachers love wordless books.
But I digress….
The Weebeastology that arrived with the little, captured, yellow beast is a colorful and lucidly drawn three-volume set that easily engages the imagination. It’s part of the larger Weebeasts series chronicling the anthropological discovery of mythic, surrealistic, and naked (of course – how else would beasts be?) creatures. Mr. Yellow Weebeasts' tag says, “ An ancient species has been discovered by explorer Micah Linton. Follow the weebeasts with the book series as their epic journey unfolds with adventure around every corner.”
Micah Linton probably didn’t know that he’d be sending his big idea off to a woman with a vested interest in anthropology. Oh, he probably thought, “here’s this reading blogger who might like my little tale about the discovery of the weebeasts,” but he had no idea that in a brief two months she’d be watching her son, who has changed his major five million times, graduate with the intent to go chase weebeasts of his own.
Darn, digressing again ….
Still, even though I love, love, loved the anthropological slant, I wanted something tangible to say here other than, “colorful, lucid, sparks the imagination.” So imagine my surprise when, two days later, another book arrived. And it had words!
Weebeasts: Plight is the second in the weebeasts series. And though I wished I’d seen the Weebeasts exile (which I presume happens in book one), I enjoyed watching the weebeasts find a new home and learn from past mistakes. Weebeasts: Plight offered the same vivid illustrations and a nice story with many opportunities for discussions on friendship and tolerance. The story also manages to pull off the target lesson without too much preachiness, a deal killer for this reader.
I enjoyed Weebeats and could easily see it growing into something big. But, despite its extremely well done self promoting, I couldn’t help but wish Mr. Linton had secured a book deal with a major publisher. I can see the weebeasts idea going the way of Christopher Paolini's fairytale ending, if just for just the right publication house. The weebeasts idea is so clever, it deserves bigger promotion and I’m happy to do my small, small part.
-------------------- Resources & Giveaway --------------------
Genre: Fantasy Age: 4-8. Pages: Origins 3 volume 166/ Plight 32.
Themes: Tolerance, Friendship, Social Science
Thank you Mr. Linton for the great books!
Publisher: Beast Stew. Date: October 2008 / March 2009.
ISBN-10: 0980188857 / ISBN-13: 978-0980188851 and ISBN-10: 0982173407 / ISBN-13: 978-0982173404
Buy Weebeastology Here
Buy Weebeasts: Plight Here
On March 2nd, in celebration of Read Across America, I'll be giving away my first edition copy of Weebeasts: Plight, the three volume Weebeastolgy and naked, yellow, butt-tattooed weebeast in his little brown bag. ☺
For one entry, leave me a comment about your involvement with children's literature. Are you a teacher? a librarian? a parent? Or someone who loves kid lit?
For an extra entry, you can twitter or blog about it. Just leave me the link from the tweet or post in your comment.
On March 2nd at 10PM EST, I'll use random.org to pick a winner!
Micah Linton is a video game designer/artist and writer. You can find out more on the weebeats website or on his personal page.
© 2007-2009 Cheryl Vanatti for www.ReadingRumpus.com