Thursday, February 16, 2012

Book Review: Freedom! (Miss Annie)

Author: Frank Le Gall
Illustrator: Flore Balthazar
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
Release Date: March 1, 2012
Pages: 48
Source: ARC from NetGalley
Why I read it: I love cats.

What I thought: When I first saw this pop up on NetGalley, I knew I had to read it right away. I don't like to make comparisons to other books, but it made me think immediately of Binky the Space Cat. I loved that book, and thought I would like this one, too. Unfortunately, it wasn't as great as I had hoped.

The book is a short graphic novel following the adventures of Miss Annie, who wants so badly to go outside.

I looked up this book and author and it looks like this was previously published in France in 2010. I don't know if something was lost in translation, but the dialogue fell a little flat for me. I would have liked it better if it was written in 3rd person rather than 1st person. The plot was almost non-existent. Miss Annie wants to go outside, meets a mouse, goes outside and then comes back. It could have been a little meatier. The relationship between Miss Annie and the mouse could have been explored more, and what Miss Annie learns when she goes outside. And maybe more suspenseful, with all of the dangers lurking outside. At one point, when Miss Annie is outside, she is chased by a ferocious looking dog, but there was no suspense or sense of danger! I also didn't really like the family. Yes, I have cats, and sometimes they are annoying, but Miss Annie's family didn't seem to like her very much at all.

However, after all that negativity, I thought the illustrations were adorable. Obviously the illustrator is great at capturing felines and is most likely a cat lover. I thought the illustrations of the people weren't as well done, but were made up in the illustrations of the animals. When I first read the book, I didn't realize it was originally published in France, and I wished that could have been illustrated more in the book.

Overall, I thought the illustrations were very cute, but the plot and execution were lacking. I give this book 2 stars: It was OK.

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