Lee Nordling (Three-Story Books) teams up with artist Scott Roberts to present another series of wordless adventures for young readers. The Game for Adventure series presents different classic childhood games with a fantastical twist. This book, Andrew the Seeker, reinvents hide-and-seek.
One sunny day, Andrew, a small boy with exuberant orange curls, is busy drawing. He creates a big purple monster, but is interrupted by the appearance of a real purple monster outside his window. Once he’s sure the creature is really there, he sets out to catch it, complete with pith helmet and butterfly net. The forest seems to grow bigger and bigger as he searches for the elusive purple beast, and the more he tries and fails to catch it the more frustrated he gets. Finally, it’s just too much and Andrew storms off home, leaving behind a sad and confused monster. Andrew scribbles up his picture and goes to bed. But the next morning, all it takes is one glimpse of a purple figure in the distance to get him suited up and back on the track of the mysterious beast.
The art is bold and colorful, almost feeling like an old-fashioned cartoon with series of trees all pressed together and spinning into the horizon. The monster is actually a little scary—a giant purple lump with some orange squiggles that move depending on its shape. Sometimes it has one eye, sometimes two. It changes shape to fit in with the trees, the birds, or just disappears into the background. The blue end-papers change from the basic map at the beginning to a filled in adventure at the end with all Andrew’s imaginary encounters neatly added in. The panels are bold and simple, with an occasional free space showing Andrew in full seeking mode.
This title didn’t click for me as much as one of the companion books, Belinda the Unbeatable. There’s not really much plot, although one can definitely feel Andrew’s frustration over being unable to find the monster. This is one I’d use primarily in a classroom setting, since it’s a good choice for learning sequential thinking, inferring the results of actions, guessing what’s coming next, and learning the tropes of visual storytime. The binding choices for this publisher are paperback or expensive library binding, another reason that it might be a better choice for a school setting with young children.
Andrew the Seeker
by Lee Nordling
Art by Scott Roberts
Lerner Graphic Universe, 2017
Publisher Age Rating: 5-9