Leo Geo And His Miraculous Journey Through The Center Of The Earth

Hello and happy 2013 and welcome back to this little corner of the internet!

And a huge hello to those of you who hopped on board over the last couple weeks! It’s nice to have you.

Here’s an awesome and odd little book to kick off the new year:


by Jon Chad


I promise not to use bad puns like, “This book rocks!” or “Perfect for kids who don’t take science for granite!”

Much like another favorite, Sky High, Leo Geo uses size and scale in such an unusual way. Telling a story about a journey through the center of the earth calls for a different visual method than the standards we are used to.


So flip it 90 degrees and read top to bottom. Of course! Its width (or lack thereof!) perfectly frames the skinny tunnels and canals through which our ‘surface man’ drills.

And just when you get to the center, flip it 180 degrees and read bottom to top as you emerge with him to the other side of the world.


Throughout the entire journey, Leo Geo narrates his trip with a good healthy dose of science. You’ll get reminders of the difference between stalactites and stalagmites, what  makes up the continental and oceanic crusts, and how many miles you would have to travel before reaching the core.

Even though his voice is conversational and funny, every once in a while you might run into a Quadclops or find a magic dagger. I love that this book becomes a spectacular combination of nonfiction and comic book.


By using only black and white, the reader gets to fill in the blanks and let their imagination run wild. The contrast between the whites of the tunnels and the black hash marks of piles and piles of fossils provide a very satisfying balance. The art is so intricate that I imagine a young reader (or an old one!) could pore over these pages for hours.


So yeah. This book rocks.



  • Posted January 7, 2013 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Carter, I enjoy your posts very much! They are detailed and lively.

    But I was wondering if you could include the publisher and date of publication of each book you do–in the title info, or early in your post, or in a standard place. For us writers, librarians, and teachers this is so handy. As a writer, one of the first things I like to check out is the publisher. It’s good to know which publishers are doing really creative work. And the date helps to indicate how easy it might be to get a copy.

    Thanks so much, and keep up the good work!

  • Posted January 7, 2013 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Will do, Shutta! Thanks for the suggestion. You’re SO right…that’s a handy thing for all of us book lovers.

    As for LEO GEO, it’s from 2012 and Roaring Book Press.

  • Posted January 7, 2013 at 8:48 am | Permalink


  • Posted January 7, 2013 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    I knew you’d have to say it!
    And you come across the quirkiest books–it almost feels more like a chapter book, but then it wouldn’t have the same spatial effect, would it.
    Thanks for the post.

  • Posted January 7, 2013 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Promise me the next book you review will be one that fits on my bookshelf better.

    I also have to recommend my favorite black-and-white drawing book ever, in case you haven’t seen it: WHO NEEDS DONUTS by Mark Alan Stamaty. (I reviewed it long ago, here: http://worldofjulie.com/?p=2456).

  • Posted January 7, 2013 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    You know, my very unofficial and once upon a time librarian survey says that kids are more likely to check out a book whose spine faces out. So those tall oddballs (which I LOVE!) always got top priority on display cause they wouldn’t fit.

    Maybe you need to build a bigger Little Free Library?!

  • Posted January 7, 2013 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Sometimes, when I’m in a hurry, I run through the children’s room in my local library and just grab half the books that are on the top shelf, facing out. So: yeah.

    And also: of course we need a bigger Little Free Library. Well, not really. But we did contemplate a two-shelfer for a long while when we were in the design phase.

  • Posted January 7, 2013 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    I love that you had a design phase.

  • Posted January 7, 2013 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    The design phase lasted as long as the building phase. (Because have you been to the Little Free Library website? There are lots of design ideas on there. We were inspired all over the place. Plus, we always look for an excuse to use graph paper.)

  • Posted January 7, 2013 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Very cool! I love how they use the physical orientation and dimensions of the book to their advantage. That’s good design. Thanks for the great review. Rock on!

  • Posted January 7, 2013 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the review, Carter! I’m happy to hear you DIG the book, ha ha! It really means a lot to me! Keep up the great work!

  • Posted January 7, 2013 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Oh, ha and hi and thank you! Almost had a coffee snort catastrophe with that one!

  • Posted January 7, 2013 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Oh my goodness, I must get my hands on this book!

  • Posted January 7, 2013 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    It has your name all over it, Kirsten!

  • Richa Jha
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    It does, it does, it does! How on earth (that’s the lamest pun for a book like this) do you manage to lay your hands on one quirky book after another, Carter? :)

  • Posted January 7, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    fascinating! i must read this book. thanks.
    i second Richa’s statement, where do you find these books?

  • Posted January 7, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    You know, this was from a bookstore browse! I spotted it last summer at http://bbgbbooks.com in Richmond, VA.

  • Posted January 7, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    and you waited this long to tell us ?? j/k :-)

  • Posted January 7, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Ha! I added it to my wish list and didn’t get it until Christmas!

  • Posted January 7, 2013 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    What a cool book! Thanks for sharing!

  • Posted January 7, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Oh, I must own this one! Thank you for sharing, Carter.

  • Posted January 7, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Hi Carter, you manage to find the most wonderful books, but then you already know that. Thank you for sharing them with us through your remakable blog

  • tinamcho
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Fun and educational! Thanks for sharing!

  • Posted January 8, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    What an interesting book! Will have to see if I can find it towering over the other books in the library! Thanks for sharing.

  • Posted January 9, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    This looks really fun, Carter! I like the idea of combining nonfiction with comic book!

  • Posted September 30, 2013 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    Great post! I just met Jon Chad at MICE, the Mass Indie Comics Expo in Cambridge. He is such a great guy! I mentioned him in my post and have a picture of him at the Expo. I’m going to try to repost this on my blog as it shows some beautiful pages of Jon’s book (I’m new to blogging so I hope it works). I love picture books and think your blog is a fabulous idea. I will keep an eye on it.

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