Monday, March 23, 2020

Review - Ray

by Marianna Coppo
Date: 2020
Publisher: Tundra Books (NY)
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

A humorous picture book about the adventures of a light bulb who embarks on an enlightening journey, from the acclaimed author-illustrator of Petra.

At the end of the hall, near the staircase, is a closet. In that closet lives Ray, who is a light bulb. Ray spends most of his time in darkness, which is pretty boring if you don't know how to fill it. So boring that Ray usually slips into a dreamless sleep . . .

Everything changes one day when Ray is migrated into a portable lantern and taken on the trip of a lifetime. He wakes up in a much larger closet (the outside), surrounded by incredible things - too many to count! Everything is super big, and Ray has never felt so small. And in the morning, Ray makes an incredible discovery which will change his life forever.

Meet Ray, a charming new character from the imaginative mind of Marianna Coppo, the creator of Petra!

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I'm not quite sure what to make of this. It's a book about a lightbulb that has an adventure. How do you even begin to process that?

Ray lives in the closet. He's been in other places in the house, too, like the living room (which was good) and the bathroom (which was a little less pleasant). Now he's in the closet, which is pretty boring. He counts all the things in there with him, and watches things change a little in the outside world, but mostly, he just hangs there. One day, though, his people unscrew him and take him on a camping trip. He sees more things than he can count, and in the morning, he has a spiritual awakening of sorts.

If you can get past the question of why someone would take the incandescent lightbulb from the hall closet on a camping trip, then the rest of the story is kind of charming. Ray is a sympathetic character; I think a lot of us can relate (especially right now) to the feeling of being cooped-up and bored. The illustrations are simple, but effective.

Overall, this is kind of cute. Anthropomorphized lightbulbs. Now I've seen it all.

Thank you to NetGalley and Tundra Books (NY) for providing a digital ARC.

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

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.17 out of 5

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