United By Pop received a free copy of ‘Boys: An Illustrated Field Guide’ in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are our own.
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Title: Boys: An Illustrated Field Guide
Author: Heather Ross
Overall rating: 5/5
Great for: Fans of Lisa Swerling And Ralph Lazar, Avery Monsen and Jory John, and Dallas Clayton
Themes: Sequential art, picture book and self-help
Review: There may be more words in this review than in the entirety of ‘Boys: An Illustrated Field Guide’ but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t one of the most powerfully poignant books I have ever read! This is a short but sweet picture book that measures in at under 100 pages. Yet, despite the limited length and the minimal writing that line each page, it manages to deliver a complete and heartbreaking story.
‘Boys: An Illustrated Field Guide’ is a tender, coming-of-age gift book about the many different kinds of boys that girls (and boys) fall in love with and the lessons we learn from a broken heart. Heather Ross journeys with the reader through the many kinds of boys she will meet in the wild—smart boys, dangerous boys, beautiful boys, and more—and the wonders and mysteries they all hold. With its field guide approach, women learn how to identify these types of boys in their natural habitats and what tools are needed to navigate each kind of relationship. (For example, quiet boys are especially hard to identify because they hide in the tall grass or silent corners of the library!)
Split into small chapters, this details all the different types of boys a girl can expect to encounter in her life, with a shocking ending that will leave every reader, of any gender or age, with an empowering message to take away. For this book depicts how all these different boys may shatter your heart, but how they will never destroy you; you the girl who will know herself and her own heart, after reading this book. With this lasting and powerful message, this is a book that can provide universal joy… and even a few tears at the end.
The transcendentally beautiful illustrations that grace each page, enhance the whimsical wonder of the story. The sketched style and limited colour scheme also give this book a minimal aesthetic that subtly allow both aspects of this to provide equal wonder to its audience. These two features work in tandem to allow this entire book to be summed up in just one word: sublime!
‘Boys: An Illustrated Field Guide’ was by far the most adorable thing I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I was drawn in by the art style but stayed for the poignant and inspirational story. Whether as a gift to empower another female in your life or as a lasting message to provide yourself with, this is a book that will bring joy to all that behold it. Who said picture books aren’t for adults!?