My niece, nephew, and I enjoyed this book quite well! First of all, the illustrations are fascinating. They are deceptively stark, but the more you look at them, the more you realize how wonderfully detailed they are. The illustrations are odd, and it's going to totally depend upon the reader as to whether that is "odd in a good way," or "odd in a bad way." I found them to be a delightfully surreal cross between aboriginal art, old Eastern European folk art, and something Salvador Dali-ish in feel. I would say that I think this story would work better if the kid you're reading to can get up close to the pictures. There's a lot to look at, and some of the details are small.
Secondly, this is an adventure book, which my nephew particularly liked. There's discovery and peril, threat and heroics. It's just a grand adventure reminiscent of those early Arctic and Antarctic journeys.
Finally, my niece, nephew, and I found the ending to be clever, a little grisly, and a little funny. In other words, satisfying. This was a wonderfully strange and unique book! I kind of want to read it again for my