Polyphonist’s #CBR5 Review #34: Bone #1 – Out From Boneville by Jeff Smith

bone-out-from-boneville-jeff-smithI read this graphic novel years ago and remember enjoying it, but I never finished the whole series. Since I still have a dozen or so books to read and review for this year’s Cannonball Read, I think this is the perfect time to read the series!

Starting with number 1, Out From Boneville, this series is so approachable for both kids and adults. The art style is beautifully playful and the writing is charming, funny, and believable. Well, believable for a world that has rat creatures that eat quiche, an aloof dragon, and an old woman who races cows (meaning she runs on foot in a race with the cows)…and wins. Oh, and these cute little bulby guys of the Bone species. They’re kind of like humans, but require fewer clothes to stay proper.

In the first book, we learn that Fone Bone and his cousins, Phoney Bone and Smiley Bone were run out of Boneville (literally) because Phoney Bone very much lives up to his first name and swindled most if not all of their town. An angry mob ensued, leaving the three bones lost in the forest. Fone Bone gets separated from his cousins and then gets hit by a freak unilateral layer of snow. This keeps him in the forest longer than he’d hoped, but since he’s an adorable little scamp of a Bone, he’s made friends with the possums and her babies and a leaf bug. The leaf bug Ted tells Fone he needs to find Thorn because she’s smart and can help him. He eventually does find Thorn (and falls in adorable interspecies love with her) but she’s riding some seriously repressed memories and doesn’t believe in things like dragons. Even though she was kinda raised by them. Partly.

Anyway, Thorn realizes she can’t help Fone on her own and suggests that maybe her Grandma Rose can help, as soon as she gets back from town. (Which happens to be where Smiley.) Phoney Bone gets led to Thorn’s house, too, and Fone and Phoney have a semi reunion, but realize they need to figure out how to get home. And they need to find Smiley to do that. Grandma suggests a trip into town, and besides, she’s got a cow race to run!

Meanwhile, the rat creatures and their grand hooded evil dude/tte are after Phoney but I (and he) have no clue why. They try to ambush Grandma Rose and Thorn’s house but Grandma Rose kicks some serious rat creature ass. The dragon’s involved in all of this, so is a map to somewhere mysterious, and a bunch of unanswered questions. Since there are 8 other books in the series, I have a feeling I might not get the answer all that soon. That’s okay; totally enjoyable read with a few laugh-out-loud moments. Can’t wait to get to the next one!

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