Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Spartan and the Green Egg

I am pretty selective with product reviews on my blog since my blogging time and time with family is limited, and I don’t want to spend it on products or services that don’t fit with my blog or our lifestyle. However, I couldn’t resist an offer from a new author Nabila Khashoggi to review the first installment in what I hope to be a series – Spartan and the Green Egg: A Trip to the Rainforest. I didn’t regret my decision. We received a beautiful hardcopy version of this graphic novel. I am linking to a Kindle version above (affiliate link) above.

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Spartan and the Green Egg: A Trip to the Rainforest is a graphic novel gorgeously illustrated by Manuel Cadag. Cartoon characters practically pop from bright green pages. The story line will delight kids who love aliens and children like mine who don’t like conflicts or scary moments. There is not a lot of “dry data” in the book, but it can be a good jumping point for somewhat older readers into a deeper research on rainforest ecology or Amazon tribes. I don’t think that the book would be interesting to children beyond 8-10 years of age unless you have a truly reluctant reader. My 6 year old Smarty Pants enjoyed it a lot, read it to me aloud in one sitting and then was reading it on her own twice within one week – it doesn’t happen to many books here!

Nabila also graciously offered to answer a few questions for me and Ms Smarty. Smarty really enjoyed this opportunity. Here are our questions and Nabila’s answers:

  • Me: How did you come up with inspiration for this book?
  • Nabila: When my oldest son, Spartan, was a toddler he had a toy rubber green egg  he was attached to.I would entertain him with stories about a boy called Spartan who traveled in a spaceship with his friends meeting new friends around the world.
  • Smarty: I want to write a book too, but I am not very good at drawing. How do I find an illustrator?
  • Nabila: I have been very lucky working with Manuel Cadag, he understood my ideas, he liked the story and added to it in a wonderful colorful way. I found that there are so many talented illustrators. Freelancers websites or adverts in publications and writer's magazines are good starting places to find the right match for your stories.
  • Me: You are a mother, an actress, an enterpreneur with your own line of luxury skin care. How do you organize your day to find time to write?
  • Nabila: Not very easily. I have been getting up at 4 in the morning and finding it a nice peaceful time to be alone and creative before everyone is up and 'stuff' takes over the day.
  • Smarty: I see grammar mistakes! Did this book have an editor? It must not be very good if a 6 year old can find them. (We recently read a book about book publishing by Aliki, that's how she knows about editors and other people who help making a book a real book).
  • Nabila: You are right to point them out, (and very well done spotting them) we had quite a few text and illustration revisions going back and forth between us all .The end result was not very organized. I hope that all the mistakes will be handled in the next printing and that we learned our lesson for book 2 which is just about ready.
  • Smarty: Where will Spartan and his friends go next? I'd love to keep reading about them!
  • Nabila: In book 2 The reefs of Mindoro Island , Spartan and his friends travel to the Philippines.

We want to thank Nabila again for giving us an opportunity to review Book 1. Check out Spartan and the Green Egg website – there is more to come, and I hope that one day Nabila and her team will give children another way to travel the world.

Additional rainforest resources for kids:

Your turn: Feel free to add your favorite rainforest books, posts or app reviews in the comments section.

4 comments:

Ticia said...

That does sound like a fun book.

I love getting to interview authors. My kids think it is the coolest thing the one or two times they got to ask questions.

I had to laugh when Ms. Smarty Pants pointed out the grammar error.

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

I think Johnny would really enjoy this book - he loves graphic novels, and like your daughter does not like conflict. It's hard to find those two things in a single book!

Joyful Learner said...

Looks interesting. We've been reading Korean graphic novels at our house. There's so many in Korean and they teach anything from history, science, mythology, etc. I wish there were more books like that in English.

I do wonder if our daughter will like this series. Unlike Anna, she's big on conflict, drama, and even blood/gore. Not sure where she gets this from.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I think JDaniel would love this book. He has just discovered graphic novel style books.