Book Review: Felipe Femur
- Book Style: Horror stylized book for kids
- Reading Level: 2 (Reading With Help due to mid-range length and some difficult vocabulary)
- Reading Length: 7-10 minutes (FYI – we never account for toddler questions)
- Illustration: Feels a bit like Plants Vs. Zombies
- Age Target: 2-10 Years of Age
- Author: Russell J. Dorn
- Author’s Page: Russell J. Dorn
- Book Purchase Page: Main book sale page, Amazon eBook – $3 USD, Amazon Paperback – $9.99 USD
- Social Media Links: Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube
Felipe Femur is a unique story book by Russell J. Dorn. It’s about a skeleton named Felipe, who’s big on heart, despite not having one! He finds himself bored and lonely, and so he walks out of his house to find his friends. As he meets each friend, he helps them with an issue they’re having, only to have them turn around and offer him something he can’t use. Each time, it frustrates and upsets Felipe a little more, and eventually he heads for home even more lonely and bored than he was before. However, when he gets home, all of his friends are waiting there for him, and they throw him a big party–simply because they felt he was a bit down and out earlier in the day.
Now, we’ve reviewed a few books here on Healthy Moms Magazine, but this is probably the most unique book we’ve ever been privy to. It’s a children’s story through and through, but seeing as Felipe is a skeleton and is our main character, it’s not exactly an everyday story book. It would have been very easy for our author, Russell J. Dorn, to make the book scary and to push it outside a toddler or young child‘s range. He didn’t, and the book hits the mark for young children (and I would say all the way up to 10 years old).
Last Saturday night!
While there’s plenty to be excited about in this book, I have to say that the story is the best part. Yes, it’s a story about a little skeleton who travels from friend to friend. Yes, they do stuff and that’s all well and good. However, the story is sneaky (good) at hiding the fact that it’s actually a story about friends assisting each other. They’re a supportive group of people (well, kind of!). Their treatment of each other is nothing short of fantastic, and all of this combines to send a very positive message to your toddler. If they didn’t understand empathy before…well, they probably still won’t because they’re toddlers, but you get the point.
Now, something you probably don’t really pay attention to is repetition. As a parent, we’re not really tuned to pick up on it, but trust me when I say that children do. They learn so quickly when a book repeats itself. In fact, this was evidenced by my little guy telling me exactly what was going to happen. See, every time Felipe gets something from his friends that he can’t use, he gets sad and puts on his poncho to leave. My little guy told me that was going to happen as Felipe was handed sunscreen (what skeleton can use that?). This isn’t the only example of repetition, but it is the one that stood out to my child.
Onto what is clearly the most unique part of this book: the illustrations. There’s no way to say this, other than to say that they’re unlike anything I’ve seen in a children’s book. I wasn’t sure what to make of the book the second I saw the cover page, so I showed it and the other illustrations to my little guy. He has a vivid imagination, and I was concerned he could have been scared.
Nope! He thought the pictures were fun, and he loved the characters. He instantly wanted to know more about Felipe. As we read the story, he loved telling me all about how these characters would be out for Halloween night. He also told me all about the bones on Felipe, and how he had each one of them (but that I couldn’t see them, FYI).
You need the shades, cool guy?
Yes, that’s a vampire in the picture above. He has one fang, sunglasses, a blue and white striped tank top, a strip of white hair, elvish ears that would make Eärwen blush, and sunscreen on his nose because vampires can’t burn their noses. It’s illustrations like this that ensure you’ll spend quite a bit of time talking to your child about the pictures in this book.
In case you need a little more insight into the world of Felipe and his friends, here’s an intro video to a game app built by Russell J. Dorn’s app development, ZebraFox games. And yes, that does mean you can extend the usefulness of this book into the digital world!
Honestly, I love this book. I wasn’t 100% sure when I saw the front cover, but both my child and I loved the book as soon as we read a few pages. It has incredibly fun characters, illustrations that are nothing short of spectacular, and some great lessons that are hidden within the story. Our author clearly knows how to build a children’s book, and what’s more is he’s done this for a great price. Head over to Amazon for a $3 USD eBook or a $9.99 USD paperback.
Thanks for reading…with your children!