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The Barnabus Project



written and illustrated by
Terry Fan ,Eric Fan ,Devin Fan

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Penguin Random House Canada
Imprint
Tundra Books
ISBN
9780735263260

Awards and Honors
2021 The Golden Duck Notable Picture Books Listee, ALA
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None
$15.00   $12.50
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QTY

JLG Category

Primary Plus

Deep underground beneath Perfect Pets, where children can buy genetically engineered “perfect” creatures, there is a secret lab. Barnabus and his friends live in this lab, but none of them is perfect. They are all Failed Projects. Barnabus has never been outside his tiny bell jar, yet he dreams of one day seeing the world above ground that his pal Pip the cockroach has told him about: a world with green hills and trees, and buildings that reach all the way to the sky, lit with their own stars. But Barnabus may have to reach the outside world sooner than he thought, because the Green Rubber Suits are about to recycle all Failed Projects…and Barnabus doesn’t want to be made into a fluffier pet with bigger eyes. He just wants to be himself. So he decides it’s time for he and the others to escape. With his little trunk and a lot of cooperation and courage, Barnabus sets out to find freedom—and a place where he and his friends can finally be accepted for who they are.

This suspenseful, poignant and magical story about following your dreams and finding where you truly belong will draw readers into a surreal, lushly detailed world in which perfection really means being true to yourself and your friends.

Full-color illustrations were rendered in graphite and colored digitally.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

72

Trim Size

10" x 10"

Dewey

E

AR

3.4: points 0.5

Lexile

AD590L

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Oct 2020

Book Genres

Picture Book

Topics

Laboratories. Pets. Experiments. Teamwork. Perseverance. Friends.


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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

Horn Book

Barnabus is a mouse/elephant hybrid who has “lived in a secret lab…as long as he could remember.” The location of the laboratory is quickly revealed on an impressive double-page spread showing first a “perfectly ordinary” city street—including a store called Perfect Pets—and then its underground, which makes visible the secret pet-manipulation operation. Barnabus, trapped in a glass jar alongside other pint-sized hybrid creatures, learns about the outside world from a cockroach named Pip. The trees, lakes, and “mountains that reached all the way to the sky, lit with their own stars” (a.k.a. high-rises) described by Pip spark Barnabus’s sense of wonder. After the creatures are officially deemed “Failed Projects,” off to be recycled into something more perfect, a glass shattering “BWAAHHH!!” (courtesy of Barnabus’s trunk) jumpstarts their escape. The graphite and digitally colored illustrations convey a gentle, handmade quality through substantial cross-hatching and an emphasis on shading. A harrowing chase through the lab’s pipework showcases the Fan brothers’ strong sense of perspective, spatial continuity, and skillful expression of light. After Barnabus releases a massive, tentacled creature (also a Failed Project) from its watery tank, the entire cast of creatures rockets up a pipe and into Perfect Pets, creating a literal splash that leads to their freedom and reinforces Barnabus’s optimistic mantra that “nothing is impossible.” PATRICK GALL

Praise & Reviews

Horn Book

Barnabus is a mouse/elephant hybrid who has “lived in a secret lab…as long as he could remember.” The location of the laboratory is quickly revealed on an impressive double-page spread showing first a “perfectly ordinary” city street—including a store called Perfect Pets—and then its underground, which makes visible the secret pet-manipulation operation. Barnabus, trapped in a glass jar alongside other pint-sized hybrid creatures, learns about the outside world from a cockroach named Pip. The trees, lakes, and “mountains that reached all the way to the sky, lit with their own stars” (a.k.a. high-rises) described by Pip spark Barnabus’s sense of wonder. After the creatures are officially deemed “Failed Projects,” off to be recycled into something more perfect, a glass shattering “BWAAHHH!!” (courtesy of Barnabus’s trunk) jumpstarts their escape. The graphite and digitally colored illustrations convey a gentle, handmade quality through substantial cross-hatching and an emphasis on shading. A harrowing chase through the lab’s pipework showcases the Fan brothers’ strong sense of perspective, spatial continuity, and skillful expression of light. After Barnabus releases a massive, tentacled creature (also a Failed Project) from its watery tank, the entire cast of creatures rockets up a pipe and into Perfect Pets, creating a literal splash that leads to their freedom and reinforces Barnabus’s optimistic mantra that “nothing is impossible.” PATRICK GALL

Grades K-1
Primary Plus
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Interests
Beginning Readers,Fiction,Picture Books,Storytime/Read Alouds
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