Bone: Quest for the Spark—Book 1

7.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Art: 8/10

Jeff Smith’s art is still king

Tom Sniegoski doesn't reach Jeff Smith’s writing

Book Info

Book Name:  Bone:  Quest for the Spark—Book 1

Publisher:  Graphix/Scholastic

Writer:  Tom Sniegoski

Artist:  Jeff Smith

Release Date:  February 2011


Get ready for a new adventure!

Tom Elm is part of a lowly turnip farming family in the Valley.  When Tom begins to suffer nightmares in the Dreaming, he learns something called the Nacht is slowing invading the Valley and causing people to fall asleep.  Tom learns that a rock he discovered is a piece of something called the Spark and that the Spark must be found to stop the Nacht.  With the help of a Veni Yan warrior named Randolph Clearmedow, a plant woman named Lorimar, Roderick the Raccoon, and the arrival of three Bones named Percival, Abbey, and Barclay, and the two stupid Rat Creatures, the battle for the Valley is beginning.

Written by Tom Sniegoski with illustrations by Jeff Smith, Bone:  Quest for the Spark—Book 1 is the first part of an all-ages illustrated novel which continues the story of the Valley from Jeff Smith’s classic comic book series Bone.


Welcome to the Valley Abbey, Percival, and Barclay!

I love BoneBone was one of those comics that could be read and enjoyed by everyone.  In recent years Bone has become more of a “kids” comic with the publications by Scholastic, but in doing so has gotten the comic in the hands of so many more kids.  Here, these illustrated books are a logical next step for kids who have read through the series.

I really, really wish Jeff Smith had penned these novel (though I’m guessing he had a big influence on them).  Tom Sniegoski almost has Smith’s style and prose down, but here, the books do feel more like books for kids.  Good children’s literature to me is literature that can be read by children but doesn’t pander to them…at points it feels a bit like pandering.


The Spark…got to catch them all!

Smith’s illustrations still really give life to the series and get past the more kid based story.  The new Bones, the return of the stupid Rat Creatures (named Stinky and Smelly here), and other Valley people is a welcomed return (plus I love the dead squirrel Frederick).  I found myself propelled through the novel by waiting for the next picture…and fighting the urge to cheatingly look ahead.

Bone is a great all-ages story and these books by Scholastic are great additions to the series.  Like the Scholastic reprints of the comic, they are very high quality and all the illustrations just pop-off the page.  Tom Sniegoski is close to capturing Jeff Smith’s feel, but he’s not quite there…yet, it is still fun to revisit the Valley.  Bone:  The Quest for the Spark—Book 1 was followed by Bone:  The Quest for the Spark—Book 2 in February 2012.

Related Links:

Bone 1:  Out from Boneville

Bone 2:  The Great Cow Race

Bone 3:  Eyes of the Storm

Bone 4:  The Dragonslayer

Bone:  Tall Tales

Bone:  Rose

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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