The Search for WondLa

The Search for WondLa  - Tony DiTerlizzi The disadvantage of being an adult who loves children's literature is that I perhaps analyze things too much.  In searching for a defence, I remember all those books I read several times as a child and then re-read as an adult, only to find new layers for the more experienced reader.Because I'm now an adult, I'm reading those layers in my first experience of a book, the disadvantage being, I sometimes don't simply accept the story for what it is.The opening of The Search for WondLa impressed me.  It's an imaginative concept and I quickly grew to like Eva Nine, the protagonist, who lives in a hermetically sealed Sanctuary with Muthr (Multi Utility Task Help Robot).  Eva is in training to go up to the surface, but when her Sanctuary is attacked, she must go up early.  And what she finds makes much of her training useless.  It doesn't even look like the same planet.Trees walk.  Creatures that should be microscopic are the size of elephants.  There are even stranger creatures, speaking languages that Eva cannot understand, who seem to be hunting her.The book is heavily illustrated by DiTerlizzi, breaking up what might otherwise be a daunting tome for the eight-to-twelves that are its audience.  The pictures also are the one nod I found to adult readers.  If the style of them looks familiar, that's not by accident.The Search for WondLa is imaginative and fun, but my adult brain kept screaming at the parts that didn't fit together.  The world operates by DiTerzzi's laws, and because I don't know them, I only became frustrated.  The reveal of WondLa at the end of the book employed a cheat I suspected from the first that DiTerlizzi would use, and that was what bumped it down to two stars.That said, I would still recommend this book to young readers who don't have my hangups, but I will likely leave it up to them if they want to take a chance on the second volume, A Hero for WondLa.This review also appears at