Sunday, March 17, 2013

Mom Says/Kid Says Review: I is for Imagination

For Sesame Street's First Comic Book, Elmo Truly is the Superhero

Title: I is for Imagination
Authors: Amy Mebberson and Jason Burns
Publisher: Diamond Back Distributors
Release Date: May 7, 2013

I have been privileged to receive an early edition of the first in an upcoming comic book series to be released by the creators of Sesame Street called "I is for Imagination." 
Mom Says: 
From its inception, Sesame Street's mission has been to provide our children with education and entertainment. The first strip in this comic book does exactly that. Elmo is sad because he does not have "real" superpowers such as the ability to fly. Yet, Grover teaches him that the power to be a superhero lies in one's heart through every day accomplishments such as helping someone cross the street or opening the door for someone. This first segment of the book stays true to Sesame Street's goals and the expectations we have.
The second strip does not have an overt "message" like the first one did. The Cookie Monster is gazing at the moon and imagines it is a cookie which he can dunk in the Milky Way Galaxy. While there is no clear message here, this strip stills shows the concept of imagination, which is the actual title and purpose of the book. 
The third and final strip of this edition is a little disappointing. It features Oscar the Grouch's musings about how much he loves trash. There is no message nor is there any use of imagination here. Also, the way Oscar the Grouch is drawn seems to be a bit darker than he usually appears, almost like how the Batman comics are drawn. Some parts of it are funny however, especially when you look closely at the details, such as how the Grouch family dog looks exactly like Oscar, but in dog form, and for "Grumpsgiving", the family eats "Yuckberry Pie."  Compared to the first two, this segment is anti-climactic and I felt does not live up to what Sesame Street has sought out to accomplish.  

Kid Says:
Then there is the verdict of my 4 year old son, whose opinion matters most of all.  He was engaged in the first story with Elmo and enjoyed the illustrations. He enjoyed identifying the acts of heroism shown in the last few slides, such as a school crossing guard helping children crossing the street and a lady helping an elderly man. After this strip, however, he was not impressed. The last 2 stories did not hold his attention.  
So what's the verdict? Bookshelf, Library Bag, or Donation Box?
I would go with Library Bag. The first two stories made it a worthwhile read for me, while only the first story did make the book a worthwhile read for my son. I am looking forward to seeing the next comic books to be released by Sesame Street.

*Review edition was awarded by

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