Portia is a lonely ten-year-old. She doesn’t fit in at school, where her intelligence serves to isolate her, her father is missing, and she has recently moved. One night, she meets a friendly purple monster in the woods near her home and brings him back with her. Soon, Portia and Jason, a boy she met when the monster pushed her to intervene in a bullying situation at school name the monster Jellaby and decide to try to help Jellaby find his way home.
Although this book is recommended for ten and up, the drawings make Portia and Jason look like they are 6 to 8 years old, a turn-off for older readers. The Jellaby character is drawn in a way that is sometimes overly cute. Portia has a creepy recurring nightmare that results from an encounter at the police station the night her mother reported her father missing, but I’d say that, with some adult guidance this book could work for 8 or 9 year-olds as well. This first volume stops rather abruptly, just as the action in the book really begins to pick up. Although I would be interested in seeing where the story goes as the series progresses, I prefer to purchase graphic novels in complete volumes.