Find out the latest indie author news. For FREE.


Anthony Feinman
They look like stuffed animals but could they really be alive? You never know with this sequel to The Magic Press: And other Critter Stories. Anthony Feinman's latest children's graphic novel story, I'M FAT! A Critters Adventure begins with Leni Bear (Short for Millennium) waking up one morning, looking at herself in the mirror and declaring herself FAT! So begins a morning of goofy comments around the breakfast table with her fellow Critters, messy tooth brushing mishaps, fall walks and sweet encounters with stray creatures, and worst of all, FOOD COMAS! Along the way take as space adventure trip aboard a star ship and then navigate dreamland to escape EVIL FOOD! So relax and don't be surprised when you fall in love with the Critters' next all new adventure!
Writer/artist Feinman (Tears of the Prophets) delivers a zany, emotionally frenetic graphic novel adventure full of animated stuffed toys that demonize unhealthy food with silly humor. Stuffed white bear Millennium “Leni” Harmony obsessively decides she is too fat, and goes to humans Aaron and Rebecca for help with diet and exercise. Leni is frustrated by her husband Schaumy, who is consumed with eating junk food and watching TV, leading to food coma-induced, Star Trek-themed dreamscapes and eventually a group nap fantasy in which Leni is transformed into a monster by a sugary, salty drink—and eventually saved by her friends from an aggressive salt shaker and its toothy ice cream scoop sidekick.

Feinman’s amusing art is intentionally lumpy, brightly colored, and busy but centered on closeup perspectives of the characters, a good match for the plot’s blend of light-heartedness and intensity. A side plot in which Leni meets a cuddly pig-unicorn toy is a quiet delight in the midst of the chaos, and a character index to clarifying each main player’s role proves useful.

The food advice demonizes fat, sugar, and salt while promoting gluten-free, healthy cuisine, though the junk food here seems like more fun, and the salt shaker’s declaration of its physiological value comes across as a weirdly rational villain’s monologue. The caring aspirational human adults and the body humor feel more appropriate to the aesthetic of younger readers, though the busy pages, number of characters, and plot complexity seat this in the middle-grade reading level. Kids who are attracted to a goofy, high-energy art style and good-natured visceral body humor will find this set of adventures hilarious; parents interested in informally promoting a healthy eating message may want to help this make its way to the reading pile.

Takeaway: A goofy, upbeat graphic novel for kids about healthy eating.

Great for fans of: Jonathan Garnier’s Timo the Adventurer, Sally Lee.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: B
Marketing copy: A