Jessica Adams – Author & Illustrator
This was an interesting concept and I was intrigued by the title. I notice that there are others in this series, so perhaps this is just an introduction to the “Underground Toy Society”. Whatever the case, the story was a bit disjointed, and didn’t seem to have clear direction.
It was cute, nonetheless, and I think the idea is a winner. I’d be interested in reading some of the others in the series, as the concept is quite a good one – just not so well realized (as I would have liked) in this first book.
It’s a risky thing illustrating your own book if you are not an illustrator – just as it’s not always a good idea for an illustrator to write their own books (at least not without a good editor).
I’m torn though. While I would much prefer a slick, professional presentation, there’s something appealing about the childlike artwork. It fits the tone of the book better (in a way) than professional artwork might.
No matter what artwork is used inside the book, your cover MUST be professionally designed. Too many books are dragged down by poorly designed covers. While there’s nothing technically wrong with the layout, it’s a bland layout better suited to a textbook. When you are designing for children, there needs to be a bit more thought put into visual appeal – including color, detail, and excellent text treatment.