Review: Cold Cereal

Cover © Balzer + Bray

Whoa. This book is crazy. And ridiculous. And kind of awesome.

We’ve experienced Adam Rex‘s talents before in Guys Read. He illustrated Mac Barnett’s Brixton Brothers book, The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity, which we read last year in Guys Read. In addition to his artistic skills, Mr. Rex has written several picture books and a couple of novels. I’ve read one of his novels before, The True Meaning of Smekday. I highly recommend it. Particularly if your favorite genre is crazy-ridiculous-awesome-science-fiction.

That seems to be Mr. Rex’s favorite genre, too, because Cold Cereal definitely fits that label, though with fantasy instead of sci-fi. It follows three kids, Scottish Play Doe (ridiculous name!) and genius twins Erno and Emily Utz, as they try to figure out the connection between a giant cereal company, a rabbit-headed man, a leprechaun, and a mysterious secret society. Oh, and King Arthur.

Does that sound crazy to you? Ridiculous? Awesome? I thought so. This is the first book of a planned trilogy, so who knows what kind of stuff will happen by the end. Here’s a quick plot summary of Cold Cereal:

  1. Typical new-kid-at-a-new-school stuff
  2. New kid finds friends
  3. New kid finds leprechaun
  4. Friends disappear
  5. New kid finds friends
  6. Epic battle between kids and magical creatures vs. secret society of cereal-makers

Yeah. Awesome–Wait, no–Weird–No, wait–Awesome. Yeah.

The advance version of the book that I read for this review didn’t have a lot of the final art in it. Mr. Rex is a great artist, as you know from the Brixton Brothers, and I can’t wait to see the finished product. All I got to see, aside from the handful of pictures that were included, was a big box that said, “ART TO COME.” When it gets here, I’ll be waiting with open eyes. You can see some of the art right now, if you want. Mr. Rex often posts art and insights on his blog. Here’s every post he’s written that has to do with Cold Cereal.

I have to admit, this book is pretty weird. It might not be for everyone. People aren’t going to read it and proclaim it a “beautiful, powerful, heartfelt story.” But I’ve come to really respect the imagination, humor, and originality of Adam Rex. Why? It’s because of his great first name and his last name which is a thunder lizard not a pet dog. Actually, it’s because there aren’t books out there that are like Adam Rex books. He’s one of these younger authors who are writing fun and new and different books. We need fun and new and different books. So we need Adam Rex and Mac Barnett and Jonathan Auxier and all the other authors who aren’t afraid to write amazing, hilarious, wonderful stories about ridiculous things.

Cold Cereal

By Adam Rex

288 pages

Genre: Fantasy, ridiculous, awesome

Source: NetGalley

On shelves February 7, 2012.

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