BOOK REVIEWS

Cucumber Quest: The Doughnut Kingdom Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-04-08 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings
ISBN:1250158036
LANGUAGE:English

"In league with Steven Universe, Cucumber Quest has a lot to love for both younger kids and older college-aged folks. The entire storyline pokes fun at those old Super Nintendo RPG storylines: get from A to B, but the way is blocked, so you have to go from A to C, yet while you're at C you have to get an item for D by fighting E. The roundabout nature of the quest, as well as how everything is put upon the lax and studious Cucumber (as opposed to his more adventure-savvy little sister), is firmly lampshaded. It's a knowing kind of humor, too. This is an appreciative roast of the genre, rather than a mean-hearted spoof of its tropes.

Recommended for...like, everyone? Do you like video games, goofy self-referential dialogue, and/or gorgeous artwork? Then you'll like Cucumber Quest.
" said.

"(Thanks, NetGalley!)

I loved this - it's a very clever, cute and amusingly snarky graphic novel. Loved the pastel color schemes and all the food-based puns. Love it! It's a great parody of the hero's journey, featuring bunny-people. Poor Cucumber just wants to go to Magic School, but literally the day before he's supposed to go, he's strong-armed into going on an epic quest, something he'd really rather not be doing. His sister, Almond, is the up-and-coming hero type, not Cucumber. I really like the universe Gigi D.G. created here. Absolutely cannot wait for the second book - in fact, I need the whole series in an omnibus right now, please. If you like cute and funny with gorgeous illustrations, definitely read this.
" said.

"I was hooked from the description on the inside cover flap, and this did not disappoint. Things I loved: the varied personalities of each of the characters (sometimes in graphic novels I find myself forgetting who is who because they all blur together, but each character here is a true individual - it's great!); the attention to detail (I don't always bother to read everything tucked at the end - concept art, and the like - but in this one you MUST read everything! I loved the character cards, and the map, and it definitely made me go back and look at everyone's ears ;-) ); the eye-catching bold colors; the rapid pace (it was nearly impossible to put down!); the overall adorableness.

And that cliffhanger ending! Good thing I've already got the next installment from NetGalley...brb...
" said.

"For those who like strong female characters and a bit of snark, then this is the graphic novel for you. Do note, however, that is it is also quite young, so would be good for fans of Baby Mouse and Jellaby.

Set in the Doughnut Kingdom, evil is planning to take over by unleashing the Nightmare Knight. Cucumber (aka Cuco) is basically thrown to the wolves by his parents who think that it is high time for him to set out on a hero's quest and take care of this problem. He just wants to go to the school that he has worked so hard to get into and that starts tomorrow. His younger sister WANTS to take on the bad guy but no one listens to her... You can guess what happens.

A fun and entertaining read with vivid, engaging illustrations and a bit of cynicism to boot. Other than the odd name, I'm guessing this will be a hit with my students.
" said.

"A shy and studious bunny, Cucumber is all set to go off to magician school when he is enlisted to fight the evil forces plaguing his homeland, the Doughnut Kingdom. The lands where he lives are all part of a place called Dreamside that boasts seven different kingdoms, all at risk from the manipulations of an evil queen who has summoned the Nightmare Knight and is bent on using him to rule them all. I enjoyed the interplay between Cucumber, who knows next to nothing about fighting, and his sister, Almond who is all about swordplay as they search for the Dream Sword, encountering all sorts of villains and helpful individuals along the way. The images of the characters and even the settings, many of them food-based, made me smile at their creator's originality. I think this one will grow on readers with repeated readings. Even little touches such as which directions the characters' ears point, struck me as interesting. " said.

"Oh my gosh! Give me all the Cucumber Quest now. This book is AMAZING. The art is cute and colorful, there are food puns galore, it is so self aware and meta, but not in an awful way.

I don't want to spoil any of the plot so let's just say this is the story of a cute little bunny person named Cucumber who just wants to go to Magic School, but is instead strong armed into a quest to save his kingdom from the usurper Queen Cordelia and the menace of the Nightmare Knight. PS her minions go by BLT Trio...*snort*. Along the way Cucumber makes friends with people like Carrot Knight, Baguette, and a Gummy Bear. He is also joined on his quest by his younger sister Almond who aspires to be a knight, but maybe lacks the right attitude about protecting people versus just getting to beat down enemies.

Anyway...it is hilarious, cute, and totally worth your time. Check it out! Volume 2 hits next spring. *squee*
" said.

"Doughnut Kingdom is in peril! Evil Queen Cordelia plans to release the dreaded Nightmare Knight. Join magician-in-training Cucumber; his impulsive, sword-happy sister Almond; and a hodgepodge of friends and foes in a quest to retrieve the Dream Sword and restore peace to Dream Side.

Each chapter introduces a new challenge or adversary to advance the journey with a few laughs along the way as we explore this food-based (and pun-based) fantasy realm. The vibrant art gives the entire book the feel of a cartoon, adding to the fun and familiarity for young readers.

Our heroes show us that stereotypes exist to be broken as we are introduced to a brother and sister who refuse to play the roles they are expected to and even a "monster" who loves hugs. Unfortunately, very few characters receive any development beyond their predetermined traits, placing a little too much pressure on the story and making it flounder a bit under the weight of an adorable but two-dimensional cast.

But, did I mention they are adorable both in art style and personality? Let's hope we see more development in upcoming installments.
" said.

"I initially avoided Cucumber Quest because the title and illustration style screamed "kids stuff!" But it's not! At least not entirely. Sure, Cucumber really is tasked with saving the Doughnut Kingdom and all the other cutesy kingdoms of Dreamside. But the story constantly deviates from the cliche "save the kingdom" adventure in how the characters work so blindly and furiously to conform to those cliches.

Cucumber is a nerdy, not-very-skilled magician who wants to attend school. But his idiot father forces him to become the hero the kingdom needs, even though that's definitely not what Cucumber wants (or is trained for). Every time Cucumber almost slips the reins of destiny to end the story early, another character makes a leaping dive to ensure that adventure story cliches are enforced. It's delightfully frustrating! There's Cucumber's hard-charging, more adventure inclined sister, a bumbling knight, and numerous other indelible characters who are all intensely focused on making the wrong decision simply so that Cucumber can achieve his Destiny of battling the Nightmare Knight - even if that destiny could be easily avoided.

Gigi D.G. has produced a series that is just so wickedly smart, I can't really fault it for being at times a little too twee. And that "kids stuff" art? It's absolutely perfect for the setting - basically a neon sheen on something a little dark and a lot odd.
" said.

June 2018 New Book:

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