Jon Chad's Leo Geo and His Miraculous Journey Through the Center of the Earth is a kids' comic story that blends science and fancy to tell the story of a scientist who goes all the way through the Earth's center from Argentina, headed for Taiwan. The long, skinny book is meant to be read "vertically," and instead of panels, the action proceeds directly across a series of two-page spreads that are dense with clever and fun details, from the realistic to the fantastic. This device is extremely charming, especially when Leo Geo reaches the Earth's center and begins his journey "up", and the pages suddenly change direction, requiring the reader to turn the book upside-down and read from bottom to top.
Leo Geo's journey is peppered with encounters with fantasy underground monsters and heroes, including some beasts that plot the downfall of the surface dwellers (that is, us). But Leo beats them all with science, and his travelogue is peppered with scientific observations that are interesting and informative, and provide a crunchy counterpoint to the gooey made-up stuff, like four-eyed quadclops monsters (Leo Geo is eaten by one of these, but beats it "with science" by travelling through its digestive tract and escaping through its "ileum and colon").
Chads art is fab, with a good, confident line and a lot of zest and silliness. The line-drawings cry out to be colored in by the reader, and the whole book makes a fabulous entertainment and distraction for the kids in your life, with its mix of science, storytelling, art, and humor.
Leo Geo and His Miraculous Journey Through the Center of the Earth
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