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Creators: Kazu Kibuishi, Mathew Armstrong, Jake Parker, and others
While anxiously waiting on another volume of the phenomenal Flight series, I figured this might satisfy my hunger for right now. This book contains short stories from a handful of creators that helped bring the original Flight books. It is a little over 100 colored pages printed on some thick glossy paper. The purpose of this book though is to engage younger readers to give them a bridge into more adult storytelling.
Since this is a children’s anthology, the stories are short and simple. The artwork is completely beautiful full of vibrant colors and memorable characters. However the art and stories do vary in style. Some of the stories work on an all-ages (kids and adults) level such as Kazu Kibuishi’s, Philip Craven’s, and Kean Soo’s stories. Mathew Armstrong and Rad Sechrirst in particular are great as always, and I loved and actually prefer Johane Matte’s piece here to her contributions to the main anthologies. However, not every story works; for example the main cover character Missile Mouse, I had a tough time getting into. The Fish N’ Chips story reminds me of Earth Worm Jim and a character from the Chicken Little movie. Don’t get me wrong the stories are still written solid and the art is top notch, but like I said for me not every story worked.
My only gripe is that some of the stories felt shorter than what I had hoped for. With ten creators, I figured each would get at least 10 pages. Flight Explorer brings in the perfect mix of children’s fantasy stories, comic books, and animation and mixes them in for a fantastic treat for children and adults. This is a book I support 100% and hope that every kid picks up. It’s a wonderful book to keep in a classroom and share with teachers and kids. A-