With Star Ship Reviews, our goal is to bring attention to some of the wonderful independent authors and illustrators out there. For this week's entry, we'll be looking at "The Quest on Planet Seaforth" Written and Illustrated by Rob Nerl.
The Quest on Planet Seaforth Rob Nerl
Rob Nerl was born and raised in The Bronx, NY. He attended The School of Visual Arts in New York City and graduated with his BFA in 1998. He began his career working as a freelance editorial illustrator for various commercial and trade publications. He relocated to Connecticut 4 years ago where he lives with his Wife, Daughter and their Cocker-spaniel, “Lady”.
"Adventurers Bobby and Christy prepare for their space voyage to the planet Seaforth. Traveling in a tiny spaceship, they eventually arrive and find a dark planet. They have nothing to fear because they are best friends, and best friends protect each other.
There are lots of places for Bobby and Christy to explore. Seaforth has not only mountains but stretches of beach and sea too. All that space makes their mission difficult as they search for a magic Box that possesses remarkable power.
On Cloudy Seaforth, these two best friends work hard to find this box and eventually follow a mysterious light. Danger surrounds them as their quest continues, but they do make interesting friends along the way. To survive, they must depend on their creativity, fearlessness, and compassion."
The Quest on Planet Seaforth wastes no time jumping right into the adventure with Bobby and Christy as they take off on their small ship to the mysterious new land. They've got one goal in mind, to find a magic box that can make sunshine from rain, make anything appear out of thin air, and even let them control the time of day! After some searching through the planet's various terrain (All the while being watched by mysterious beings from afar), they find the magic box! Following an encounter with a large rock creature (who assumes the children will be scared of him because of his appearance), the children show us that he's not actually scary, bringing light to the fact that things aren't always as they seem. They even discover that the mysterious beings from before were just friends from their own planet, whom they end up traveling back home with! The story ends with a really fun twist and a great message about the power of children's imaginations and endless creativity.
The illustrations work beautifully with the story in a way that makes the reader feel as though they're truly discovering the Planet of Seaforth right along with Bobby and Christy.
The Mini Interview:
To wrap things up, we've asked Rob to answer three quick questions for us!
What was your inspiration for the story?
First and foremost, my own childhood. Growing up with no siblings I found myself gravitating towards drawing at an early age. I can still feel the anticipation and excitement of a fresh pack of 8.5 x 11 paper, brand new set of crayons or markers. It’s the same feeling I get when I sit down to work on a new Illustration today, or even a canvas if I’m in the mood to paint. Also, Imagination is so important for children. It’s really the key to our progress not just as artists or creative people, but as people in general. I also had a love for space and space exploration both as a child and as an adult. I wanted to tell a story that brought all of these elements together. Creativity, imagination, and space/exploration.
What was your favorite book growing up?
In my earlier days certainly any Dr. Seuss classics and any of the Little Golden Books were prominent. I recall my Grandparents having many always there for my cousins and I to read whenever we visited. However, if I had to pick one book that truly captivated me in a way which I thought no book ever would, it was Judy Blume’s “Super Fudge.” Outside of picture books, which always had me drawn in (no pun intended) because of the illustrations, Super Fudge was the first book I truly fell in love with purely on story alone.
What piece of advice would you give to aspiring children’s authors?
This was my first book. What I would suggest for other aspiring children’s authors is don’t rush the process. Also, don’t lock yourself in and be open to make changes Get input from others when you feel you’ve gotten your story locked in. Seek out younger opinions as well. Let members of your target audience get a preview. Not only will they know exactly what they like about your story but they’ll also know what they don’t, plus they’ll be very honest about it too. Which is great!
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