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Category Archives: Graphic Novels

The Great Art Caper

Title:   The Great Art Caper
Author:   Victoria Jamieson
Series:   Pets on the Loose
Recommended for:   early chapter book readers, reluctant readers, children ages 4 and up as a readaloud, kids who love art
Pages:   62 p.
Call Number/Link:    GN J Jamieson, V. 

Rating:   *****

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A cuddly class hamster, GW endeavors to make a gift for his new human friend to show support for her participation in a school art show before hearing about a dastardly mouse plot to sabotage the event.

Comments:

This book is the second book in the Pets on the Loose series.  As much as I liked the first book, I thought The Great Art Caper was even better!  Rather than trying to plot their escape from the elementary school, the pets went on an adventure to the art room so that GW could make a piece of art for his human friend.  They thought the art room was such a wondrous place…  until they saw the library.  Ooooh.  Ahhhh.

Once again, GW and his friends defeated Delores and her mouse minions and saved the day.  Hurray!

 

 

 

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Posted by on February 1, 2018 in Funny, Graphic Novels, Juv

 

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Cici’s Journal

Title:  Cici’s journal : the adventures of a writer-in-training
Author: Joris Chamblain (Author),‎ Aurélie Neyret (Illustrator)
Series: Cici’s journal
Recommended for: 8-12 year olds
Pages: 160
Call Number/Link:  GN J CHAMBLAIN, J.

Synopsis: Cici dreams of being a novelist. Her favorite subject: people, especially adults. She’s been watching them and taking notes. Everybody has one special secret, Cici figures, and if you want to write about people, you need to understand what’s hiding inside them. But now she’s discovered something truly strange: an old man who disappears into the forest every Sunday with huge pots of paint in all sorts of colors. What is he up to? Why does he look so sad when he comes back?

Comments: This book is gorgeous. I was immediately drawn to the cover. On the inside, there are a couple of journal style pages with drawing and clippings done in a childlike style, then the story unfolds in graphic novel format. The book is about a 10-year-old girl who is maybe too into “mysteries” that she notices around her. Prompted by her friendship with an elderly local author, she takes notes and follows people until she figures out what’s going on in their lives, in hopes of becoming an author herself. Besides the beautiful illustrations, the best part of this book is the relationships explored. Cici has two close friends her own age, lives with her mother, and is friends with an elderly woman. When she gets obsessed with the mysterious people in her town, it starts to strain all her other relationships. I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever wanted to be a writer or loved mysteries.

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2018 in Graphic Novels, Juv, Mysteries, Realistic

 

Evil Emperor Penguin

Title:   Evil Emperor Penguin
Author:   Laura Ellen Anderson
Series:   —
Recommended for:
Pages:   64 p.
Call Number/Link:   GN J Anderon, L.

 Rating:   *****

Synopsis:

Evil Emperor Penguin lives in Antarctica and plots to take over the world with his two minions: a polite and thoughtful purple octopus and an abominable snowman who loves nothing more than a hug.

 

Comments:

For whatever reason, I am a big fan of Pinky and the Brain, Phineas and Ferb and other comics that feature a ridiculous character whose life goal is to take over the world.

It doesn’t get much more ridiculous than an evil Emperor Penguin whose minions are a sweet, fluffy abominable snowman and a purple octopus who reminds me of Alfred the butler in Batman..  I absolutely love the way that Eugene the abominable snowman consistently misinterprets the penguin’s instructions and creates “evil inventions” that actually spread joy.

To quote Eugene, “Yay!”

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2017 in Funny, Graphic Novels, Juv

 

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All’s Faire in Middle School

Title: All’s Faire in Middle School
Author: Victoria Jamieson
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 5th – 7th grade (could go a bit younger or older)
Pages: 248
Call Number/Link:  J GN Jamieson

Synopsis: Eleven-year-old Imogene (Impy) has grown up with two parents working at the Renaissance Faire, and she’s eager to begin her own training as a squire. First, though, she’ll need to prove her bravery. Luckily Impy has just the quest in mind–she’ll go to public school after a life of being homeschooled! But it’s not easy to act like a noble knight-in-training in middle school. Impy falls in with a group of girls who seem really nice (until they don’t) and starts to be embarrassed of her thrift shop apparel, her family’s unusual lifestyle, and their small, messy apartment. Impy has always thought of herself as a heroic knight, but when she does something really mean in order to fit in, she begins to wonder whether she might be more of a dragon after all.

Review:  Sooo, this one doesn’t officially come out until September, but I couldn’t wait to talk about it! I loved Roller Girl and was so excited to see another one by Jamieson coming out. And I think this one may even be a little better than Roller Girl. I love how it deals with the insecurities of starting middle school. And while in this case she’s transitioning from home school to public school, I think the general worries are still the same. I loved how Imogene deals with trying to fit in and how the subject of bullying is approached. Peer pressure is a powerful thing and when you want to fit in you’ll often to things that you know aren’t right. And sometimes how all that pressure can spill into the home life–even before one gets in trouble–as well.

The intermingling of Ren Faire stuff was a lot of fun. It was nice to see Imogene find her footing in the troup as a squire. How she was able to shake off her nervousness of performing among the streets by finding an act that worked for her. I also liked how school tied to the Ren Faire (and kind of ended there as well). And while Impy was most at home at the Ren Faire, there was still problems and lessons that she had to learn! No such thing as a perfect place, right?

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to see what Jamieson releases in the future.

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2017 in Graphic Novels, Juv, Uncategorized

 

Real Friends

Title:   Real Friends
Author:   Shannon Hale
Series:   not applicable
Recommended for:  kids ages 8 and up, also of possible interest to teens and adults.
Pages:   211 p.
Call Number/Link:   GN J HALE, S.

Rating:   ****

 

 

 

Synopsis:

When her best friend Adrienne starts hanging out with the most popular girl in class, Shannon questions with whether she and Adrienne will stay friends, and if she is part of the clique.

Comments:

While friends, friendship and cliques are an important part of this graphic novel memoir, it also deals with Shannon’s family relationships.  At the same time that she was being bullied at school, she was being bullied by an older sister at home.  While the school bullying was more often that of being excluded (or ostracized), I suspected that her older sister used to beat her up when their parents weren’t home.

The book rang true and there were times that I hurt for Shannon.  I was so happy when she finally found Real Friends and flourished!

This book could give kids who are being bullied (or don’t have many friends) hope that they too will ultimately triumph over loneliness and have good friends.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2017 in Graphic Novels, Juv

 

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Princess Princess Ever After

30025791Title: Princess Princess Ever After
Author: Katie O’Neill
Series: N/A
Recommended for: Grades 3-6
Pages: 56
Call Number/Link:  GN J O’Neill, K (we don’t currently own, but other Pinnacle do)

Synopsis: When the heroic princess Amira rescues the kind-hearted princess Sadie from her tower prison, neither expects to find a true friend in the bargain. Yet as they adventure across the kingdom, they discover that they bring out the very best in the other person. They’ll need to join forces and use all the know-how, kindness, and bravery they have in order to defeat their greatest foe yet: a jealous sorceress, who wants to get rid of Sadie once and for all.

Join Sadie and Amira, two very different princesses with very different strengths, on their journey to figure out what happily ever after really means — and how they can find it with each other.

Review: I wish I loved this one more than I did. I adore the turning gender roles on its head, which this one does nicely. It also have excellent themes of friendship & heroism as well. I even adore Sadie and Amira, but I wish there had been more. At 56 pages there is very little meat to the story. It’s cute and sweet, but it’s very surface level. I just wanted MORE. I do think that kids will probably still enjoy it, especially if they like the twisted fairy tales. However, something like Princeless may be a better suggestion. I haven’t read it yet (it’s upcoming on my list), but it is much longer than this one and covers the same type of idea.

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2017 in Graphic Novels, Juv, Uncategorized

 

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Coral Reefs: Cities of the Ocean

Coral ReefsTitle: Coral Reefs: Cities of the Ocean
Author: Maris Wicks
Series: Science Comics
Recommended for: Grades 4-9
Pages: 120
Call Number/Link:  GN J 577.789 WIC

Synopsis: As the series title suggests, this introduction to coral is given the graphic-novel treatment. The panel illustrations are bright and colorful; a clean design makes the information accessible. The content is somewhat advanced, making this appropriate for upper-elementary-age readers. The lighthearted text, narrated by a fish, includes humorous asides along with a solid presentation of the facts.

Comments: Did you know that a coral reef has more biodiversity than a rainforest? Did you know that even if you lived far from the ocean, you still depend on coral reefs? Did you know that coral is not a plant but an animal?  This book is an excellent introduction to the topic of coral reefs. It is bright, colorful and tries to use a little humor to keep the reader engaged. It is narrated by a cute bespecticled yellow fish and covers ocean life, biodiversity, scientific names, the water cycle and more.

This would be a great read for a reluctant reader in junior high or a advanced middle schooler. It skews for older kids just because of the scientific jargon, but it does sound out a lot of the scientific words and has a glossary in the back. It is broken up into five chapters, but refers back to the main points learned in previous chapters, which helped me remember things like: coral gets it’s color from a symbiotic relationship with an algae. The final chapter talks about climate change, and it’s impact on coral reefs, and how people can help.

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2016 in Graphic Novels, Non-Fiction