A part of me feels like the ultimate message this book meant to send sort of got lost somewhere along the way. The Barnubus Project by The Fan Brothers (Terry, Eric, and Devin) is an expertly illustrated and adorable children’s book about loving yourself no matter what. Though some in the world may look at you as an outcast, you can still love and believe in yourself and the people who matter most to you will do so as well. For me, though, in the end I took more away from the artwork and the world-building.
I got definite Secret of NIMH vibes from this whole book, which was kind of fascinating to me when I think back to how terrifying that movie was to me as a child (and still kind of is today). But The Barnabus Project is ultimately more cute than it is scary. I personally loved that about this book. The artwork was downright adorable in every single way, if a bit odd at times. More than anything, I loved the art best.
Now, the world in which this story is set is one in which perfect pets are created in a laboratory beneath the town, leading up into this downright charming ‘bubblegum’ shop that sells pets engineered to perfection. You have pets of all kinds, experiments that are often two kinds of animals melded together into the most adorable and fluffy hand-sized creature. Barnabus and his friends are the failed projects, the ones that didn’t quite turn out as fluffy or as cute as wanted.
Thus, they’re all set to be recycled.
I would love to see this book as a feature film, full length with a mildly better plot than just escaping and living outside in the park. I’m fascinated with this world, with the pets that exist within it. What brought about this experimenting of pets? Who leads it? There are so many things to explore within this realm that I’m dying to learn more.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.