Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Review - The Adventures of Honey & Leon

The Adventures of Honey & Leon
by Alan Cumming
illustrated by Grant Shaffer
Date: 2017
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 48
Format: e-book
Source: library

Actor and New York Times bestselling author Alan Cumming and artist Grant Shaffer imagine what their dogs do when they’re not around—and it’s no surprise that the dogs aspire to lead lives as action-packed and glamorous as their dads’!

Honey and Leon are rescue mutts who love their dads very much. But their dads often have to go away on glamorous and important business, which worries the dogs. Honey and Leon are done staying home and fretting—they’re off on a dad-protecting adventure! Careful to remain incognito, the two pups shadow their dads on a trip across the sea, keeping them out of danger at every turn! How did they survive without Honey and Leon’s protection for this long?!

Alan Cumming and Grant Shaffer wrote this story as a tribute to their own dogs, based on their frequent conversations about what Honey and Leon get up to while they’re away.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

The Adventures of Honey & Leon reminds me a bit of the film The Secret Life of Pets. It imagines what happens when Honey and Leon's two dads pack their bags and go on a trip without them. But dogs are supposed to protect people, right? How can Honey and Leon protect their dads if they're not around to do so? So the two dogs make a plan to follow their dads (to France, apparently), trying to keep out of sight so that they won't get caught. Honey makes it a little more difficult for them at one point, and there's a cute twist at the end that made me smile.

The illustrations are decent, and there are some cute touches (like the newspaper called The Ruffington Post and the labels on the dads' airplane meals). It's fun trying to spot the two dogs as they sneakily try to follow their dads throughout the vacation.

Celebrity-written picture books can be a mixed bag. The last one I read wasn't that great. But this one is actually pretty entertaining. Dog lovers, fans of movies like The Secret Life of Pets, and anyone who's ever wondered what their dog gets up to when they're left alone will probably enjoy this book.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.5 out of 5

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