Jim Curious and the Jungle Journey–Find wonder and awe in an incredible 3D adventure for kids

Review by C.J. Bunce

Get ready for your next immersion into adventure and fun, and it’s in 3D.  I love classic storytelling methods that surprise the reader, from the Victorian to modern technology, whether it’s stereoscopic images, View-Master reels, lenticular images, pop-up books, or state-of-the-art digital animation.  One of my very first books as a young boy was Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses, with 3D diorama artwork and a lenticular cover.   I’ve reviewed several 3D movies here at borg, too, from The Creature from the Black Lagoon to Jaws 3D, and Predator and Rogue One French artist Matthias Picard’s roving young adventurer Jim Curious returns after his debut in 2014’s Jim Curious–A Voyage to the Heart of the Sea in his next book, Jim Curious and the Jungle Journey It’s a complete 3D adventure using anaglyph 3D, that classic blue-red 3D style and includes two pairs of 3D glasses–just like the kind from 3D movies in the 1920s to the 1980s.  The eye-popping images will take your breath away.

Seen in print since 1891, anaglyph 3D prints an image in red and blue (technically cyan) and relies on your brain to interpret the different colors as a stereoscopic image when wearing filtered lenses, with one color for each eye.  Matthias Picard’s tale is entirely visual–no text at all.  This is brilliant, because the reader–especially if a child and their parent share in the experience with both included 3D glasses–get to interpret the story however they want.  At one level this is a story of a boy who ventures out in a vintage deep sea diving outfit to explore what might be a prehistoric world (Jurassic Park?), it might be a jungle that has been hidden right outside his door (The Adventures of G.I. Joe?), it might be hidden ancient ruins (The Jungle Book?), or it might be a trip into the future (Planet of the Apes?).  

First of all, the digital images here do not do justice to Picard’s truly magical scenery.  This is a large, 9.5 x 13.25-inch hardcover storybook that needs the 3D glasses to see the layers and layers of jungle.  Where is Jim and where is he off to?  At one turn there is a swamp full of giant lepidodendron trees, then a giant tortoise approaches.  What strange flora and fauna will be around the next turn of the page?  Panels of flower, birds, and moth varieties will keep you transfixed, and keep you returning to this book again and again.  Matthias seems to have been inspired by design layouts of neo-classical vintage woodcuts, swapping in his cute hero and making the awe-inspiring environments more inviting for young readers.  Here’s a lost Mayan or Incan village, and then that’s a… an abandoned train?  It all culminates in an utopian isle with a four-page, pull-out spread featuring Jim and a giant lighthouse.

Check out a preview of interior layouts below from Jim Curious and the Jungle Journey, courtesy of Abrams Books for Young Readers:

Recommended for kids around six to nine years, it’s certain to spark their imaginations (their parents’ or other reading pals,’ too).  It’s a stepping stone to the kinds of retro adventures once seen in the G.I. Joe Adventure Team and more recently in Matt Kindt’s more mature Dept.H comics series.  A fascinating, wondrous adventure that will provide hours of fun and imagination, order your copy of Jim Curious and the Jungle Journey available now here at Amazon.

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