Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Review - Caveboy Crush

Caveboy Crush
by Beth Ferry
illustrated by Joseph Kuefler
Date: 2019
Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 48
Format: e-book
Source: library

A caveboy-meets-cavegirl tale, with a twist!

Neander is a young caveboy. He spends his days doodling on cave walls, chasing mammoth butterflies, and playing with his pet rock, Rock. But one day, he meets Neanne—and he’s CRUSHED! She’s short, she’s hairy, she’s perfect! Neander does everything he can think of to get Neanne’s attention. He picks a bouquet for her from the Field of the Bees. He fetches a conch shell for her from the Waves of Salt. As Neander’s gestures get grander and grander, Neanne remains unimpressed. But then Neander hatches the grandest gesture of all, and it’s Neanne’s turn to do some crushing. From Beth Ferry and Joseph Kuefler comes this sweet celebration of first love—perfect for Valentine’s Day and read-alouds all year long.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This would be a cute story to read around Valentine's Day. Neander is a typical caveboy. One day, he sees Neanne and falls hard. He decides to show her how he feels. So he gives her a series of gifts. Unfortunately, his caveboy instincts always get the better of him, and he ends up crushing the gifts as soon as he's presented them. Neanne, understandably, thinks he's a bit nuts. But the final gift turns out to be something they can both enjoy, after a twist that turns the story on its head.

I'm not sure if I really understand that twist at the end (is Neanne trying to meet Neander on his level... or is it simply revenge?) but the outcome is kind of cute, regardless. The pictures are simple but effective, with some humorous touches (I especially like Neanne styling her sabre-tooth tiger's fur). I'm not as enamoured with the writing, which falls back on the old stereotype of cavepeople using terrible grammar. Granted, they're not going to be speaking modern English, but they may have had their own fairly sophisticated oral language. I do like the incorporation of the various words that rhyme with the characters' names, though.

So the story's cute, as are the illustrations, and the overall message is fairly modern, even given that this is a book about cavepeople. For readers looking for picture books about first love, crushes, or stories suitable for Valentine's Day, Caveboy Crush might be just the thing.

Quotable moment:

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

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 3.5 out of 5

No comments:

Post a Comment