And we’re back!
This week I had the honor of being given the FIRST read of an new and upcoming children’s book by Michael Roberson, photographer, vlogger, film editor and published author of the book “The Legacy of Kenzo”(a book we’ve previously covered here!)
Mike is back with another story from our favorite new children’s book protagonist, Kenzo with “The Legacy of Kenzo: Strength”, written by him, of course, and illustrated by Javier Salas.
Now as I mentioned before, I really really like the Legacy of Kenzo for having a young, empathetic, sweet boy of color at the helm and an array of colors and cultures weaved into his foreground and life. The original story of Kenzo tells us more about him.
Kenzo is from a royal family where his parents, Koumaneá and Yonka, were king and queen of the land of Geneva. The people of Geneva were kidnapped by the looter gang. Kenzo was seven years old when he and his family fled their native land from the looters. Kenzo has two extraordinary powers that only his parents are aware of, indestructible skin, and supernatural strength, which he himself has not yet discovered.
“The Legacy of Kenzo, Strength” really focused on the theme of Kenzo’s strength and where it comes from. What is Kenzo’s real strength? Is it the strength in his arms? Is it the strength in his legs? Or is this a story about the strength that lies in Kenzo’s heart?
Style wise, the illustrations from Javier are really dope. Amazing, really! It’s one thing to have the thoughts in your head, put on paper and published but it’s a WHOLE ‘nother sugar rush of excitement and fulfillment to have them illustrated! Javier does a good job of that. Javier Salas is a Colombian graphic design artist, with an impressive background: a background in the entertainment industry, four years in video games, advertising, and illustrating books. He is also a 2D artist.
His style is distinctive and fitting for a children’s book but at the same time, they are sharp and mature. Looking at them, if it were possible, I feel like I could watch Kenzo grow up in this style. The character design is neat and hip without being campy. Kenzo wears a sleek earthtone colors (my favorite is the scarf), slim jeans and some really rad sneakers. His new friend’s styling looks pretty cool too, from Grandpa’s hoodie and hair, to the facial make up or markings that really call out a bit of afrofuturism. A+!
This was really fun read. I don’t have kids and sometimes I’m so lost in the uber mature world of my own writing that I don’t take time and simply enjoy a good story. The Legacy of Kenzo, Strength is a good, good story. We get to meet some really cool new friends, we are reminded of just how wicked smart Kenzo and his parents are, and we see that Kenzo’s “Strength” is multifaceted. Kenzo, as a main character, has so much room to grow and I know he will grown into something big. I can see people finding and losing themselves in Kenzo’s intelligence, powers, and sweet, kind, courageous nature.
If you have a kid, you need to get them in to the world of Kenzo!
As far as the author goes, Mike has kept busy. Outside of authoring the Legacy of Kenzo’s book series, he has also been really involved in making sure that plenty of people know about Kenzo and his friends! He has engaged in a HILARIOUS “meme” marking campaign that I may have to “steal” as well as giving each of his characters “theme music.
You can find Mike on Youtube (Simple Mike), Instagram (@SimpleMike85), Facebook (Facebook@AuthorMichaelRoberson) and at his websitewww.simple-mike.com, where you can purchase the book as well as inquire about his other services!