November 18, 2010

Review -- Kooky Pets by Koldo Barroso

Have you ever wanted to meet the warm fuzzy hiding out in the crawl space behind your heart? How about finding out what your imaginary friend from childhood became? Perhaps they come from the Kooky imaginarium, described and illustrated by the talented Koldo Barroso in his new book, Kooky Pets. It was a pleasure to get a peek at Koldo Barroso’s new illustrated book of imaginary friends, which contains the kind of illustrations that reward a second and a third look.

These creatures are the kind I associate with a Gothic sensibility, like Edward Gorey’s spooky but fun illustrations combined with a Froudian sense of the odd in the shadows under the bed. Mr. Barroso develops this world with clever histories both of the Kooky Pets themselves and the mites that study them. The joy exemplified by these creatures is summed up best in a line from the book, which states that Kooky Pets can bring out the best of us and “turn a list of errands into holiday plans.”

Since this was developed in collaboration with readers of Mr. Barroso’s website, the illustrations and the stories are remarkably consistent in exploring the themes of taking pleasure in and taking care of thing such as reading and art and not taking oneself too seriously. One of my favorites was the AuroBora, a creature who made of a wreath of itself so that it could cling to its banana peel tail.

I’m sorry that I don’t have an example of the artwork (that’s what I get for having to do this on a laptop while traveling), but I recommend that you visit Mr. Barroso’s website for examples of his drawings and to keep up with his latest projects.

Happy reading!
Chrissa

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