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NOTE: It's been a while since I read this book, so I don't remember everything about it.
Anyway, this book was great! It had this innocent, whimsical atmosphere that gave me a very nostalgic feeling. I wish this book had been around when I was a kid!
My only complaint is that, since it is a kid's book, some of the plot twists were a bit predictable. However, there were others that I didn't see coming. For example, I figured out early on that Aunt Annaconda's spirit animal form, despite her name, wasn't going to be a snake. But I was surprised when she revealed what it really was!
Despite some parts being a bit obvious, the story is still very fun and engaging. It reminds me of Disney's older films - surprisingly dark in some parts, yet still optimistic and kid-friendly. I'm not sure how to explain this, but the story overall has a very traditional feel to it - the protagonist is polite and respectful, the villains are pure evil, revel in it, and don't spend too long hiding it, etc. I wish there were more works like this nowadays.
But the best thing about this book, by far, is the illustration. The art has a lush, Tim Burton-esque style, with Gothic, surreal imagery. There is a lot of detail put into each drawing. My favorite is the breathtaking establishing shot at the beginning of the book.
Overall, I loved this book, and I think it definitely Needs More Love! I can't wait for the series to continue!
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