Title: Zak and Jen’s Astronomical Adventures: The Petal Planet
Author: Natalie Page
Illustrator: Chris Rivers Nuttall
Category: Children’s Book
My Rating: 5 Star
I was delighted to meet artist, Chris Rivers Nuttall at the Collectormania: Film & Comic Con event recently. His artwork is stunning, and he is a lovely guy happy to talk about the process he uses for his paintings. As I was drooling over his art, I spotted a colourful children’s book nestled among the paintings. Upon further investigation, Chris told me about his collaboration with the author, Natalie Page on a series of children’s books.
The result is Zak and Jen’s Astronomical Adventures. The Petal Planet is the first book in the series, with more to follow in the future.
Jen believes she has a boring and colourless life until she meets a magical Zak. Her new friend transports Jen to a beautiful world full of pink blossom trees. Any parent reading this to their child will see the ‘grass isn’t always greener on the other side’ lesson within the hypnotic words. Jen understands in the end that her world and everything it offers is perfect in every way.
“Why come here?” said Jen, taking his hand.
“It’s plain and it’s dull, with nothing but sand.”
I loved this book. The story is one that will delight young and old alike. There is a wide-eyed innocence about Jen, and yet she has this inquisitive thirst for something beyond her understanding. Only by travelling far from home does she fully appreciate where she comes from.
Having met Chris, the illustrations took on a whole new level of fascination for me. His artwork is truly incredible, with a surrealistic vibe to them. He captures Natalie’s story perfectly and brings Jen and Zak to life.
Zak and Jen’s Astronomical Adventure won the silver medal in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2016 with fabulous feedback from the assigned readers.
I’m hoping that if I stalk Chris enough, I can tempt him on to the blog for a guest spot (watch this space), in the meantime please check out Zak and Jen’s Astronomical Adventures.
To Jen, her life was a terrible bore.
She wished she had more than the landscape she saw…
Jen lives alone on her solitary sand planet, until one day, a boy named Zak comes to visit. Through a little of Zak’s magic and an unusual umbrella, Jen is transported to a beautiful world, and her new friend helps her learn a valuable lesson along the way.
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