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In a world built for Perfect Pets, Barnabus is a Failed Project, half mouse, half elephant, kept out of sight until his dreams of freedom lead him and his misfit friends on a perilous adventure. A stunning picture book from international bestsellers The Fan Brothers, joined by their brother Devin Fan.

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.

Title : The Barnabus Project
Author : The Fan Brothers
Format : eBook
Page Count : 72
Genre : picture books / fantasy / children
Publisher : Tundra Books
Release Date : September 1, 2021

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★

Hollis’ 4 star review

I’m rating this a four solely from my, obviously, non-child perspective. As an adult I absolutely loved this story about imperfectness and the importance of being yourself, no matter what the world around you tells you.

I agree with some other reviews that maybe this is perhaps a shade darker than what is expected, or wanted, of children’s books so maybe this would be for the older range of younger children (I don’t even know what the age range is for this one, to be fair). But I think it’s still an important message; even if the way it’s delivered isn’t the standard happily ever after. It is also a little rushed near the end and I think an extra few pages to flesh things out a bit would’ve been helpful. Will kids notice though? Likely not.

Also, the art? Absolutely stunning. So creative, colourful, and the perspectives were delightful.

This is definitely a contender for my nieces when they get a little older.

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