Review: Gryphons Aren’t So Great

Well they’re not. This book is fun. Its ridiculous fun and if you want to pull a lesson out of it you can. You don’t have to, but you kind of should. I plan on reading it to my son at some point, right now he’s too young and the sound of my voice doesn’t capture his attention enough to push through even a story this short in nature.

It is a book for kids… I guess adults too if they have strong feelings about Gryphons (see the first sentence). It stars The Knight and his horse Edward, who star in the Adventures in Cartooning line of books. One day they’re trying to fly by running off a cliff and falling into the water below. It’s fun and all, but the Knight gets excited when a Gryphon soars by. Soon enough he’s chasing it and once they meet up Edward gets jealous and thrown aside. Like actually thrown aside. The Knight takes off with the Gryphon and loves actual flying. Now Edward must win back his friend… or The Knight must learn a lesson… or both.

Gryphons Aren't So Great CoverIt’s a simple book, but it really is fun and entertaining. I didn’t laugh out loud at the jokes, but they did put a smile on my face. I could see a kid laughing and that’s really the important part. The fact that it teaches a lesson about friendship is icing on the cake and frankly I wish there were more strange stories like this for kids that weren’t trying to be serious and so far up their own butts while trying to teach a lesson.

The art is cartoonish and stylized. It’s very clean looking and the action is kept simple, but also flows brilliantly. Basically the gutters are used effectively to express the movement of the story and that makes it a great first comic for kids. The coloring is also fantastic as it’s very bright, but there’s shadows and a sense of time due to the coloring. Sure it’s a story for kids, but that doesn’t mean that there’s not a high quality to the art.

After reading this I want to pick up more Adventures in Cartooning Jr. books. There’s at least five more and if they’re half as fun as this one then they’re worth a purchase. As for Gryphons Aren’t So Great, it may not be a must have for adults, but if you have a younger kid then this is a great quick read that both parent and child can enjoy. More importantly you won’t get tired of reading it like you will with some other stories because it’s a fun kind of ridiculousness.

Score: 4/5

Gryphons Aren’t So Great Creators: James Sturm, Andrew Arnold and Alexis Frederick-Frost Publisher: First Second Books Price: $14.99 Release Date: 9/8/15 Format: Hardcover; Print