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A lonely guard and his beloved keytar headline this timely, humorous look at the walls we create, what they mean, and why they might need to come down.
Felix's job is to help guard the wall that protects everyone from the horrible monsters on the other side. But it's a boring job--nothing ever happens at the wall, so he spends his time dreaming of playing his keytar in a band. One day, Felix hears music coming from the other side of the wall, and sets out to investigate. What he discovers will knock some sense into him and show him and the other guards a better way to deal with the unknown. Let the music begin!
About the Author
Josh Holtsclaw grew up in Georgia and studied illustration at the Savannah College of Art and Design. He is a graphic art director at Pixar Animation Studios and worked on Cars 3, Incredibles 2, Toy Story 4, and Soul. He also worked on The Boxtrolls, Kubo and the Two Strings, and Missing Link at Laika Animation Studios. In addition to his work in animation, he illustrated the Little Golden Books A Roaring Adventure and Jurassic Park, and the picture book Racing Rivals.
Monica Holtsclaw studied graphic design at the Savannah College of Art and Design and bookbinding at North Bennet Street School. She has lived in nine states and four countries and loves traveling to see what life is like in different parts of the world. When at home, Monica quilts with her friends in the Mt. Tam Quilt Guild and teaches bookbinding classes at the San Francisco Center for the Book.
“Like Agee’s The Wall in the Middle of the Book, this makes timely commentary on the purpose of walls in current cultural discourse, and it also speaks to the universal connections of art, two premises that could have tipped into treacly sentiment but are fortunately tempered by the book’s bubbly, self-amused glee. The digital art is a riot of vibrant colors and loose geometry, with the squat, square, grumpy-looking guards distinctly different from the rounder, wide-eyed monsters, and Felix a combination of both angles and curves. This could obviously make a discussion starter about overcoming differences, but it could just as well serve as a jazzy opener to a dance party.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“The message of getting to know people before you judge them comes through loud and clear with bright cheerful mixed media artwork. The text is simple and direct without being cloying or pandering. An extremely amiable picture book about acceptance and tolerance of others, and a welcome book for most shelves, this would be a great read-aloud at the beginning of the school year.”—School Library Journal
“Felix finds a shocking revelation: The monsters are not monstrous at all. . . . A gentle reminder of the danger of preconceived notions.”—Kirkus Reviews
“The soft palette and expressive faces of the characters make for a warm and inviting adventure into the unknown, and the immersive double-page spreads place readers in the midst of the action even providing a seat to enjoy a final performance. A joyful reminder of the power of breaking down barriers and banding together keytar in hand or not.”—Horn Book