Julia’s House for Lost Creatures is a children’s book from writer/artist Ben Hatke. A kid’s book on Comic Bastards!?! Yes I know it’s a bit strange, but an extensive look through my past reviews will show that I will read just about anything and the more unusual it is the more likely I am to enjoy it and post a review for it. Julia’s House for Lost Creatures is of course easy to sum up; Julia has a large and empty home and so one evening she decides to put up a sign advertising that her home welcomes lost monsters. The first arrival is a cat made out of patches of clothing. The second is a bridge troll without a bridge and soon enough Julia has a full house of wayward creatures. Easy enough right?
So what does the story teach? Because it’s a kid’s book it must teach something and you’re not wrong. My take was that an empty home is always better full, but then also that everyone in the house needs to play their role in helping maintain the home. It’s a simple message, but Hatke’s execution is what makes it a wonderful experience.
Growing up I loved monsters and strange creatures, but never had an outlet for them. There was nothing like Julia’s House for Lost Creatures for me to enjoy and now as an Uncle of two nieces and a nephew I like to see what’s out there for my extended family members to grow up on.
One thing that I think Hatke has done incredible well is make this appealing to girls and boys. I couldn’t tell you who I would recommend it for more because I’m still deciding… I’m probably going to end up getting a second copy rather than excluding anyone.
Hatke’s artwork is wonderful. It’s perfect for a storybook like this as he doesn’t overload the page, but each page is a little masterpiece. I can imagine any amount of children will grow up with this being their favorite book and the art plays a large role in that.
Julia’s House for Lost Creatures may not be a comic book, but it may be the right book to introduce to your kids so that they have an interest in comic books. And you know what, even as an adult I was able to enjoy it as well.
Writer/Artist: Ben Hatke Publisher: First Second Books Price: $17.99 Release Date: 9/2/14