Lucy & Andy Neanderthal
Sharing your room with a sibling can be tough, sharing a cave with a brother or sister is even more tough! Fans are familiar with Jeffrey Brown’s New York Times bestselling JEDI ACADEMY series but in this slice-of-life graphic novel, we get to cozy up with Lucy and Andy, two silly Neanderthals who live in a cave with their family and friends during the harsh and grueling stone age. Daily life for the pre-teens proves to be boring until they attempt hunting mammoths! While chasing around their well-seasoned mammoth hunter father, the gang learns the right and wrong hunting methods. Andy and Lucy train themselves on how to be the very best cavemen they can be by foraging seeds and berries, crafting handtools and making clothes while goofing up along the way! The Neanderthals think their biggest challenge is getting ready for the the big mammoth hunt until they meet the Humans.
Andy and Lucy have a big sense of wonder and love showing off their caveman skills. On a number of occasions, the kids in this tribe prove to have little to no experience which results in hilarious routine blunders, all in the life of a regular Neanderthal kid! The children in this story have enthusiasm but also struggle with “cave chores” or not losing their baby brother in the valley while babysitting. It is easy to find affection for any of the characters in this story, Brown is creative in his dialogue and his descriptive illustrations show how the characters built or collected very specific items like sticks and twigs. Throughout the story Brown elaborates on subject points by using modern day archeologists to provide textbook explanations. The jokes are simple and worth the chuckles they give. The jokes are relatable as they are the typical jabs you may have with an older sister or a younger brother. Even the parents can be a bit of disastrous but considering how charming their family is the readers will want to be a part of their rugged lifestyle for a day.
"LUCY & ANDY NEANDERTHAL is a fun collection of prehistoric stories. Those who love newspaper comic strips would enjoy this extended tale in graphic novel form."
When I first got my hands on this book, I adored the “torn” edges of the pages and newsprint feel. From the special appearance of the book I could tell that Jeffrey Brown wanted his readers to really get a sense of the Stone Age in this graphic novel. I actually stumbled upon this book looking for prehistoric fiction to read. I am new to Brown’s writing and would absolutely pick up any of his books! Considering we may not know everything about Neanderthals, the archeologist narrative was clever and the educational points are very straightforward. There is no real overall plot, except the going-ons of a Neanderthal tribe. Even though this caveman world requires a little bit of suspension of disbelief, a lot of the humor stems from elements that we would recognize from our own modern world. LUCY & ANDY NEANDERTHAL is a fun collection of prehistoric stories. Those who love newspaper comic strips would enjoy this extended tale in graphic novel form. This story will make you happy to be alive!
Reviewed by Julia Luedtke on September 27, 2016