Sunday, September 9, 2012

More Stupendous Graphic Novels

Ok, this week I am sharing some graphic novels that really tickled my fancy!  As many of you who read my blog know, I am not a huge fan of graphic novels.  By that I mean I really don't enjoy reading a story in comic book form.  Maybe my eyes are going or maybe I am just old and crotchety, but I end up squinting every time I have to read what is in those talk bubbles!  However, I do recognize that these books are far more complex and creative than ever before, and they fill a wonderful reading niche for kids.  Lets just say I can appreciate the genre even if I need reading glasses to get through the first page.

This week I was surprised by the wonderful books I found.  Giants Beware is just delightful and I might have read it even if this wasn't my job.  Rapunzel's Revenge is a rootin tootin good time and I am still floored by the creativity of its authors.  Finally Mal & Chad is perfect for those boys who are moving out of early readers.

So I hope you enjoy this weeks post and happy reading!

Title:       Giants Beware

Author:   Rafael Rosado

Target:    Grades 2-4

Series:     Not at this point

What this book is about:
Claudette fancies herself a giant slayer and pity the fool who will stop her.  A wall has been built around her town to keep out the local baby feet eating giant and no one is allowed to leave its confines.  However Claudette, her brother Gaston and her best friend Marie decide that they will rid the town of this fear and venture outside the walls for the first time.  Will they be able to find the giant, and if they do, will they be able to neutralize the threat?

Why I love this book:
First off I sometimes have trouble with the illustrations in graphic novels.  They feel so small and overwhelming.  I can say that without a doubt, the illustrations by Joege Aguirre in this book are marvelous.  They are clear, full color and large enough to see all the details of the character’s surroundings and emotions.

Secondly, I just loved the characters themselves.  Claudette is feisty and determined but still needs her friends.  Her brother Gaston thinks he is a coward (and a gourmand) but comes through when it counts, and her friend Marie is an aspiring princess but not in the girly sense. in the sense of loyalty and kindness.

Who this book is for:
This book should appeal to all kids.  It is a fun/funny adventure with delightful characters.  If your kids liked Bone or Amulet, this series may be particularly tempting.

Final thoughts:
I hope there are more Claudette adventures to come!

To purchase this book, visit your local bookstore or click here to connect to Amazon: Giants Beware!  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog.

Title:        Rapunzel’s Revenge

Authors:  Shannon and Dean Hale

Target:    Grades 4 and up

Series:     There is a sequel, Calamity Jack, which highlights another character introduced in this story.

What this book is about:
Think Rapunzel in the wild west, where Rapunzel is a braid wielding, spunky, determined girl.  The story follows the basic premise of Rapunzel, but in this case our heroine is independent minded, and feisty and she uses all her resources to get back at her captor and save the mother she loves.

Why I love this book:
Well Shannon Hale just continues to surprise me.  She takes the basic fairytale and is able to craft a modern, relevant story out it.  Her Newbery honor book The Princess Academy and The Goose Girl, were both fabulous retellings of classic stories, and this graphic novel, just takes the fractured fairytale to a whole new level.

Once again, when an author can change the way we look at something, in a compelling and entertaining way, I am always impressed.  Who would have thought of Rapunzel as an outlaw in the wild west - really, but it works.  The illustrations are also clear and a great fit for the story.

Who this book is for:
Kids who like their heroines clever and full of spunk!

Final thoughts:
Saddle on over and take a look at this book.  I am sure you will take a shine to it!

To purchase this book, visit your local bookstore or click here to connect to Amazon: Rapunzel's Revenge  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog.

Title:        Mal and Chad

Author:   Stephen McCranie

Target:    Grades 2-5

Series:     Yes

What this book is about:
Mal is a nerd and a genius, but he hides this fact from everyone so that he can stay in school with his secret crush, Megan!  When Mal invents  an elevator that serves as a time machine, he and his talking dog Chad have the adventure of a lifetime with the dinosaurs.  However they crash as they return to present day.  When his broken time machine is found by Zachary, his school rival, Zachary creates a hole in the fabric of time.  Can Mal fix it?

Why I love this book:
This is a good graphic novel with a main character who is quite likable.  I always enjoy it when the geek is the hero of the story and when smart is celebrated.  There is also such a great and funny rapport between Mal and his dog Chad.

My one complaint is that the book is done in all black and white, which I know saves printing costs, but I would have enjoyed a little color in the story!

Who this book is for:
This book is a nice way to move into more complex stories for kids, especially those who are jumping from early readers to more substantial chapter books.

Final thoughts:
As the cover says, “The Biggest, Bestest Time Ever!”

To purchase this book, visit your local bookstore or click here to connect to Amazon: Mal and Chad: The Biggest, Bestest Time Ever!  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog.

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