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Jellyfish and “The Routly”

October 28, 2014 Leave a comment

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You might wonder what I’m doing posting a picture of myself wearing my glasses (which usually never come out in public) and a Kangol hat, with my mouth wide open giving a thumbs up.  No, I’m not inviting flies to come into my mouth.  I’m doing “The Routly,” a pose made famous by fellow Dad Blogger Chris Routly.  I’ll let you guess which guy is Chris in the picture below:

Chris recently made an advance copy of his new book, Sometimes You Need a Jellyfish available for me to review.

I could have read it several times to dissect and analyze it.  I probably would have called it something like “wonderfully silly” and wrote that Routly’s creativity bursts off of the pages.  I’d probably talk about the how rhyme schemes worked really well and the words roll off the tongue when read aloud.  I’d say that Routly is onto a concept that could have longevity and be repeated over multiple books, similar to Numeroff and Bond’s If You Give a _______ a _______.  series.

However, instead of just diving into it myself, I wanted a completely unbiased and relevant opinion, so I did the only logical thing I could think of: I read it to RJ.

He stayed engaged throughout the book, following along with the silliness that leads up to the book’s punchline, at which point he laughed out loud and gleefully repeated the ending, which I won’t give away.  And then he wanted me to read it again.  And again. At four years old, he’s the perfect age for the book to be read to, although Routly’s use of some advanced words make it something that kids in elementary school could use to practice reading skills and build vocabulary.

Routly has self-published a few books before using a do-it-yourself online service in which the final product is a decent paperback, however with this project he’s trying to go all the way and do a formal hardcover edition of the highest quality.  He’s set up a kickstarter project for which the rewards vary from a copy of the book all the way up to an in-person reading and cartooning lesson for a children’s class or group of your choosing.  If you’re up for pitching in and getting a reward in return, check it out here:  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1606880501/sometimes-you-need-a-jellyfish-childrens-book .  If you’re not the kickstarter type, stay tuned, because the book is expected to be released in early 2015.