By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
Release Date: March 30, 2021
The children’s book, Kong and Me, is an introductory look at the relationship of Jia (played by newcomer Kaylee Hottle in the upcoming Godzilla vs King Kong movie), a young girl living on Skull Island, and the mighty ape. This optimistic look at the two firmly establishes a bright and cheery world they live in. It’s a perfect contrast when compared to the previous films for newcomers–especially kids who want to see big furry apes on the screen–to this franchise.
While everybody is still waiting for the Isla Nublar to reopen with all its dinosaurs to go on parade, Skull Island is looking quite safe in this colourful novella. Not everything has to be dangerous, grey and bleak.
It’s nice to see Kong as a gentle ape. The relationship between the girl and giant is cute, and the poem by Kiki Thorpe is simple. The narrative is written like a bedtime story. Anyone can fall asleep with a smile on their face. The stuff of nightmares to which every fan expects for the film is being saved for the movie.
Even the art by Nidhi Chanani has a charming side. The sweet portrayals of these characters are just that, and as for what they mean in counterpoint to the film, perhaps it’s also to set up the fact we can expect Kong to win, since he’s the character readers are being groomed to empathize with.