I Went for a Walk: By Shanti Wintergate, Illustrated by Gregory Attonito By Jenny Moncayo

Jan 23, 2008

I Went for a Walk is a children’s book illustrated by the lead singer of the Bouncing Souls, Greg Attonito, and written by his wife, Shanti. I love the Bouncing Souls. I enjoy people’s side projects and alternate avenues of creativity, so when I heard he was making a book I was interested, but when I heard it was a children’s book I was a little skeptical. First, why a children’s book, and could I really find the book interesting since I’m not the target audience?

Publishing-wise, the book looks great. It’s all nice and glossy, in tons of color and with big lettering typical for reading to kids. The story is told from first person and discusses discovering the earth, finding people who are like you, and it explores space and a child’s imagination. It has the “live life for each moment” moral to the story at the end. However, the actual story and progression of the plot doesn’t really feel all the way secure. The main issue of the story is that the person is hungry and looking for a planet where they can eat. It ends with the child/narrator waking up in their bed from a dream and they smell breakfast. Then the idea of living life and enjoying the moments is reiterated to the reader.

As far as the illustrations, they are bright, they jump off the page, and they depict the story in a quirky yet accessible way for children. The illustrations remind me—or they look like—they were done with those big fat markers that smelled like fruits.

Overall, the story was okay, but not overly engaging. It would be interesting to observe the book read to a group of young children to see if it maintained their attention. I used to work in a kindergarten and read to kids. They really like stories where something dramatic is happening, in addition to a big picture that grabs them. They’ll eat you alive if it’s a bad book.

It’s a cute book with a positive message, but nothing stellar. I guess if someone with a child likes the Bouncing Souls it wouldn’t be the worst buy. –Jenny Moncayo (Hollywood Jersey, www.hollywoodjersey.com)