I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Kalico Jack by Mike Nahorniak
Release date: October 7th, 2016
Publisher: First Edition Design Publishing
Genre: Children’s Lit
Kalico Jack is a little different from the other Jack Rabbits so much so that he is he is constantly ridiculed. As he gets old enough, Kalico Jack decides to embark on a journey to find where he fits in. This adventure takes him across the western part of the United States where he makes many friends and eventually figures out what his special purpose is.
I was excited to read this book because the lesson that different can be good is always an appropriate topic for me to discuss with my students. The concept of the story rings familiar as Kalico Jack, the main character, takes off looking to find a place where he fits in. His journey across the Western US serves as a way to teach important monuments and animals found in that area, however, I found the writing to be lackluster and inconsistent. The author moved from using traditional English dialect to modern urban slang and while some vocabulary was easy for young readers to understand, much of it would prove difficult.
While I was unimpressed by the writing, the artwork was very commendable. The images act as a great discussion point and help the book move from drab to somewhat appealing.
If nothing more, this is a great revisit of an age-old lesson of how we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover (no pun intended). I would read it to my students when I wanted to revisit this topic, but it definitely wouldn’t be my first choice.