Author/Illustrator Uncle - poetically passing along fantastic phrases of rhyme and song, former broadway superhero, saint and legend, believer in kindness. BOOKSTORE - http://bit.ly/effenplaces
Reviewed by Marta Tandori for Readers' Favorite
Effen unusual…effen creative…and effen off the beaten track. Such is the offering called Oh The Effen Places You’ll Effen Go by everyone’s sage and most probably favorite Uncle Josh. The book is best characterized as the cool life speech given by someone’s favorite, super cool rock ’n roll uncle who’s been around the block one too many times on his favorite Harley before disrupting a nephew or niece’s outdoor graduation ceremony by crashing through the security barriers amid the whoops and cheers of the graduating class. The “life speech,” otherwise known as a valedictorian address, is more often than not given by a student with the highest academic achievement of the class, delivered at the graduation ceremony. The speech is usually persuasive, moving and hopefully uplifting as it talks about the challenges in life that the graduating class is about to face. All lovely rhetoric, to be sure, and sometimes just a tad bit boring.
Luckily, there’s nothing boring about Oh The Effen Places You’ll Effen Go. Old Uncle Josh gets his point across through a series of stanzas that more often than not actually rhyme. It’s here that he imparts his pearls of wisdom such as “the effen world isn’t effen free,” “your friends are blends of you,” and “love is an action that you must choose.” While some will argue that these are the sage words of wisdom found inside a fortune cookie, Uncle Josh also imparts more personal wisdom that only someone with some life mileage on them can impart with any degree of conviction: “choose your words carefully because they have the power to hurt or get you into trouble” and “kindness ages like wine.” Arguably, the best piece of advice he gives is “the things you’ll see, they’ll be as cool and as tragic as you’ve made them out to be.” No truer words were said.
However, no effen life book would be complete without some visual aids and, luckily for us, Oh The Effen Places You’ll Effen Go has plenty to feast upon. They’re quite creative and colorful and pack a visual punch. What makes them so interesting is the combination of almost immature caricatures coupled with colorful drawings that support the author’s message nicely. Each storyboard features plenty of energy and the juxtaposition of immature caricature and colorful drawings keeps the reader engaged. And if that doesn’t keep you engaged, then the odd “F-bomb” and swear word certainly will. Oh The Effen Places You’ll Effen Go is a short read, but really is a modern life speech for today’s youth, delivered somewhat tongue-in-cheek by everyone’s favorite hippie uncle.