'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 16 August 2023

Review: Ember and the Island of Lost Creatures

A friendship finding adventure on a fierce and fantastic island of mysteries. All in graphic novel form.

Ember has been searching for someone to be close to his entire life, but when you’re a teeny-tiny human creature living in a giant world, making friends isn’t easy.

His luck changes when a giant sea turtle takes him to a mysterious island, where a school of misfits are discovering themselves and their abilities. But while he tries hard to fit in and make friends, Ember finds it difficult to be accepted by the ragtag group of strange and magical beings in his class.

In search of his truth, his identify and connection, Ember takes risks. 

He goes to the places his teacher says he shouldn't go. He speaks with creatures that everyone seems to fear. Ember has a giant heart, but can his heart endure his struggles so he can find what he’s looking for.

Author/illustrator Jason Pamment has built a complex and wondrous world in this stunning graphic novel. With lovely thick and glossy paper, saturated in colourful illustrations and magical dialogue, you’ll be truly immersed in this story. It will speak to you in lots of different ways.

Pamment’s style is a beautiful combination of funky, cute and quirky. The story is 95% dialogue, but Ember’s letters and journal entries pop up from time to time, inviting audiences deep into his thoughts and dreams. It’s a beautiful way to bring a closeness between Ember and audiences. This is balanced, however, by many panels of only illustrations. They are beautiful quiet moments where you get to explore the story without words.

This is a big book, but it’s an easy read. It’s perfect for young adventurers who lean more towards graphics than words, but it’s also a glorious new way to explore story for those who love a novel.

Title: Ember and the Island of Lost Creatures
Author/Illustrator: Jason Pamment
Publisher: Allen and Unwin, $19.99
Publication Date: 27 June 2023
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781761067488
For ages: 7 - 13
Type: Graphic Novel, Middle Grade Fiction, Junior Fiction