Half Popped by Jeff Feuerstein, illustrated by Dayna Brandoff and Alex Miller

Source: Burger Night Publishing Partners
Paperback, 44 pages
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Half Popped by Jeff Feuerstein, illustrated by Dayna Brandoff and Alex Miller is a cute little story about Kenny the Kernel who is not a fully popped piece of popcorn and feels alone.  He’s stuck at the bottom of a bowl of fully popped popcorn, and he feels as though he’s an outcast.  However, on his journey through the fridge and pantry, he comes to discover that those who are different have something to offer and that their uniqueness makes them just as desirable.  Kenny takes a long time to realize that he’s not alone and he’s not an outcast, and it doesn’t happen until he returns to the bowl to be eaten.

The story has a good message, but there are moments in the text, which tries to hard to rhyme at certain points, that lose the natural rhythm of the story, making readers stumble reading aloud to younger kids.  The combination of photography and illustration gave the impression of images with stick-figure faces stuck on like stickers.  My daughter didn’t find these images engaging enough to sit still to read the book, but she’s also more into books with flaps and hidden things for her to interact with than she is with books that are read to her.   She may not be the target audience for this book — perhaps someone who is age three and older.  Half Popped by Jeff Feuerstein, illustrated by Dayna Brandoff and Alex Miller has a great story about learning to see the good in yourself and the good in others who are different, but the images could have been better and the text tweaked a bit to make it less awkward in places for those reading aloud.

About the Author:

Jeff Feuerstein has been writing since he was strong enough to hold a pencil. However, none of it was legible until much later. A New York sports fanatic with an affinity for Chinese take out and vintage t-shirts, he fills the time between by walking, thinking and dreaming up new characters. Jeff has worked in the film business since graduating from the Syracuse University S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

About the Illustrators:

Dayna Brandoff just loves a good art project. As a mother, she was eager to create a children’s book that parents would actually want to read “again!” (and again. and again.) As an entrepreneur and all around “do-er,” she was thrilled to be able to help make it happen. Dayna is a Brooklyn-based professional organizer. She founded Chaos Theory Inc in 2007.

Alex Miller is an artist, imagineer, and creative individual that is passionate about what he does. When he is not elbow-deep in his sketchbook he is still thinking of fun and fantastic ideas for his next project. Inspired by everything around him, Alex is on a life long journey to inspire others with his art. With a line here, dash of color there, Alex just wants his work to bring a smile to anyone that views it.

This is my 71st book for the 2013 New Authors Challenge.


  1. Too bad this one doesn’t keep the same flow throughout. Sounds like it has a good message, though.

  2. I like the concept of the book – too bad it wasn’t executed better.

    • It might just be that my daughter is too young for this one, but the comments about the text were based on my observations when I read it aloud.