Score: 96/100 (9.6 out of 10)
Bentley's Fabulous Idea is an enormously ambitious and impressive children's book by Miki Taylor. It is BRILLIANTLY illustrated by Eunmye Shin in a truly standout effort for an illustrator.
In fact, Shin's spectacular, complex, and extremely time-consuming illustrations are the primary reason that this book scores so astronomically high. The effort and time that must've gone into crafting each and every page is unfathomable! We don't say these things lightly. Almost every single page has at least a half-dozen well-illustrated characters, and each of these is performing a unique action. In other words, this isn't a copy-and-paste job. This isn't AI-generated or colored using some shell-shaded, time-saving trick. No. Everything in this book is hand-drawn and hand-colored. You can literally see the lines and the strokes of the pencil.
It is an extremely, highly-detailed, methodical artistic effort!
With that said, there are times when you could argue that there's a bit too much going on—an extra-sensory-overload. However, we actually didn't find this to be a big deal. We could still see what was going on and could still read the text. That was the main thing.
This book follows Betty, a precocious and adventurous little girl who has adopted a photography and scrapbooking hobby. She starts small, taking pictures of herself, her surrounding, and her brilliant and fluffy dog, Bentley. Bentley comes up with the fabulous idea of expanding the scope of Betty's project, encouraging her to take pictures of ALL of their friends while they show off their activities, interests, and personalities. They do this with their permission, of course, and their friends proudly and graciously follow along.
What's incredible about all of this is that all of the anthropomorphic animal characters are given a chance to shine in their own individual and unique ways, even when they're competing for page-space with other characters. This book features the ones and only cute centipede we've ever seen: Coco Centipede. Coco wears boots on all of her dozen or so legs! She is colorful and, like we said, cute.
This book in general oozes with cuteness and positivity.
Even the snake in this book is adorable!
Then you have the gator character who looks like he works out, the meerkat who loves to make music, the peacock who loves to pose to some tunes, the kangaroo who loves the pool, and Mr. Bee—arguably the tritagonist of the book—who encourages both Betty and Bentley.
This book has so much going for it, and we were incredibly impressed.
Check it out on Amazon!