Official Review: Petro and The Flea King by Kenneth K Lamug

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bb587
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Official Review: Petro and The Flea King by Kenneth K Lamug

Post by bb587 » 25 Jun 2018, 16:45

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Petro and The Flea King" by Kenneth K Lamug.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Petro and the Flea King by Kenneth Kit Lamug was not at all what I was expecting. It’s an illustrated story without dialog or narration. The reader infers the story based on the pictures, facial expressions, and section headings.

One day, something flies out of the sky. From the picture it looks like a bug jumps on the meteor and grows people-sized, but he might have already been big and got other powers by touching it. The bug--I assume it’s the flea king--bites someone. The next section is about Petro being a bratty boy. He is lazy, hurts a bird, and ruins his grandmother’s kitchen. He grows remorseful and decides to use his savings to buy his grandmother replacements at the market. In section three, Petro goes to the market and has a run in with the flea king. He soon finds out that a lot of people have had problems with the flea king, too. In section four, Petro goes fishing because a bird suggests he should. He is eventually swallowed by a whale. He makes some friends and finds a way to escape. In section five, he’s on an island trying to get bug spray from a witch doctor. He’s bit by a snake and is sent to find a giant. Section six finds Petro in a giant world where everything is bigger than him. A robot helps him defeat a giant bird. In section seven, Petro finds the giant and the bug spray but is captured and put in a cage. Somehow, there’s a giant spider. They fight, then become friends. They run away and escape the giant. Does Petro get to go home? Does the bug spray work on the flea king? Will he get a hug from his grandma? You’ll have to check out section eight to find out.

Did that synopsis confuse you? That’s because that’s exactly how I felt “reading” this book. The illustrations are amazing. Sometimes they fit the whole page. Other times they take up sections like a graphic novel. It’s easy to follow the order of the pictures. They very clearly tell a story. However, sometimes the story gets a bit muddled. For example, the bird suggests that Petro use bug spray to kill the flea king, then hands him a fishing pole. What does a fishing pole have to do with anything? He finds his way from location to location purely by mistake. He kills a bird, a worm crawls out and grows into a plant stalk into the sky. The story is fantastical and whimsical, but extremely confusing.

Petro makes a lot of friends that we never see again. He makes it out of the whale with a wizard and a monkey. By the time he lands in the next setting, they’ve disappeared. Later, he says goodbye to the robot when he climbs the stalk. The robot traveled all over the giant-land with him. There didn’t seem to be any reason they should split up.

The introduction talks about the story’s Philippine influence. It seems this type of whimsical adventure is common among Philippine fantasy fiction. I didn’t find any editing mistakes, largely due to the lack of words in the book. Since I enjoyed the challenge of deciphering a book based on pictures alone, I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. I complained about the storyline, but ultimately it made me laugh. I’d recommend this book to anyone open to the challenge of “reading” pictures. I wouldn’t suggest this to anyone lacking an imagination.

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Petro and The Flea King
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Post by Ana-Maria-Diana » 28 Jun 2018, 04:40

A different style of writing and I think it will be an interesting reading.

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Post by SamSim » 28 Jun 2018, 05:11

Well, this is certainly unique! When you mentioned that Petro was swallowed by a whale, made some friends, and found a way to escape, I was like, "In that order? Whaaaaat?" The storyline does seem a bit haphazard and unplanned, but it reminds me of a bedtime story a parent might piece together with a child over time without writing it down - so maybe, in that sense, it doesn't matter. Plus, I DO want to know if he gets a hug from his grandma. (lol) Great review!
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Post by MsTri » 28 Jun 2018, 10:00

This sounds interesting and like a book I'd really enjoy; even though the storyline is fairly evident, I like the idea of having the freedom to interpret certain sections in whatever way I see fit. Heck, I could even create dialogue to go w/the story... Thanks so much for the fun review!

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Post by daniya__shah3 » 28 Jun 2018, 11:54

This book sounds interesting, however, it might be a bit confusing.
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Post by kfwilson6 » 28 Jun 2018, 21:30

What age group would you say this is for? Sounds interesting, not really my kind of book though. If you had listed why errors I would have been horrified.

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Post by ParadoxicalWoman » 29 Jun 2018, 00:41

My opinion is this is a good book to train your mind to interpret the pictures before you try to interpret the painting; a good book for the non-readers too who prefer to see pictures over words.
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Post by bb587 » 29 Jun 2018, 05:27

kfwilson6 wrote: ↑
28 Jun 2018, 21:30
What age group would you say this is for? Sounds interesting, not really my kind of book though. If you had listed why errors I would have been horrified.
That's a good question! I guess it would be good for most ages.

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Post by arcie72 » 02 Jul 2018, 01:31

This sounds like a good, fun and imaginative book. I like that you could make your own inference of what is going on. Picture books are always a good choice for anyone's library. Thank you for an informative review.

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Post by Julie1 » 11 Jul 2018, 12:21

I think this would be a nice book to read for my toddlers, they might be able to decipher easily. With their creative mind, they usually have the most hilarious interpretation. Great review!

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