Hello, friends! Our book today is the first three books of the Skwerdlock series by Pops Jamison: Meet The Skwerdlock!, I Saw The Skwerdlock, and Never Take The Skwerdlock To The Doctor.
In Meet The Skwerdlock!, the reader is greeted by Trish, a young girl with a rather unusual acquaintance. See, once when she was very sick as a baby, her father sang her a song about a bizarre creature named the Skwerdlock, a mishmash of impossible animal features and even a few magical tricks. Trish didn’t believe in such an extraordinary creature… that is, until she looked up and there he was! In I Saw The Skwerdlock, Seussian rhyming text leads the reader along to spot the Skwerdlock in all manner of places. And in To The Doctor, Trish must try to wrangle her mischievous friend during a routine checkup.
As indie books go, these have potential – Skwerdlock is certainly a memorable character in both name and design. JJ was especially smitten with Doctor, which featured a running gag that had her in stitches by the end. However, there are some major issues that are hard to overlook. The pacing in all three books in terribly uneven, and the stories lack a compelling rise and fall (the exception being Doctor, which had a bit more direction in these areas). Most glaring is the flat, garish illustrations; though Jamison insists that his “amateurish” artwork is intentional, it doesn’t make up for the fact that the art lacks dimension, contrast, detailing, or consistency, and is overall not terribly engaging for young or old eyes. So while the character is fun, particularly hitting its stride by the third book, there are some large improvements to be made before we would consider recommending this one. Still, as we said, there’s certainly room for Skwerdlock to grow.
(Note: Copies of these books were provided to The Baby Bookworm by a representative of the author in exchange for an honest review.)