Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Publication date: October 9, 2020
One little mistake. Now he’s caused the end of the world.
Dusty usually tries to do the right thing, but one mistake brings disaster. With the help of his friends, while dodging a bully, Dusty fights to save his town from the HEPA Monster.
Dusty and the HEPA Monster is the first book in the Dusty series of graphic novels for young readers by Liam Murphy.
Lots of action, bravery, loyalty, and friendship combined with beautiful illustrations make this a graphic novel you and your kids will love.
The name of the book hints at a story about dust and HEPA filters, and I thought it may be an educational story about how air filters work. Instead, it is an action-packed story about a community of dust particles and how they tackle a new threat to their existence in the form of a HEPA filter.
It has themes of bullying, bravery, and presence of mind too. It also has a lesson for children about what could happen if they don’t listen to their parents.
While I did not enjoy the book for reasons I will explain, I think you should pick up the book if your children like an adventure story.
I feel that the pages are too busy, making it confusing to follow the story. The illustrations are dull and there’s too much packed in each frame. I also felt that the story doesn’t flow well–it sounds abrupt in places. New characters appear suddenly, without much of a logical flow. Even when viewed from a child’s point of view, it leaves many questions unanswered.
I really can’t say more without giving away the plot. The story was not as impactful as it could have been. I also feel that an age-appropriate explanation of HEPA could have been woven into the story since the term is introduced. This would have added some educational value and answered the inevitable question–what’s HEPA?
This is the first in the Dusty series of graphic novels. Perhaps there’ll be more rounded stories coming up!
(I received an ARC from Reedsy Discovery in exchange for an honest review.)