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Category Archives: Graphic Novels

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

 

The Great Pet Escape

great-pet-escape-cover

Title:   The Great Pet Escape
Author:   Victoria Jamieson
Series:   Pets on the Loose
Recommended for:   early chapter book readers, children ages 4 and up as a readaloud, reluctant readers
Pages:   63 p.
Call Number/Link:   GN J JAMIESON, V.

Rating:   ^^^^

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

GW, a class pet at Daisy P. Flugelhorn Elementary School wants OUT . . . and he, the deceptively cute hamster in the second-grade classroom, is just the guy to lead a mass escape. But when he finally escapes and goes to find his former partners in crime, Barry and Biter, he finds that they actually LIKE being class pets. Impossible!

Just as GW gets Barry and Biter to agree to leave with him, a mouse named Harriet and her many mouse minions get in their way. What follows is class pet chaos guaranteed to make readers giggle.

 

Comments:
This book is very funny.  We’ll need extra copies once the kids discover it.
Imagine this: a hamster who has invented a sunflower seed catapult, a rodent catapult transportation device and recently completed work on the Hairy Houdini Escape-O-Matic.
Why?  He has been trapped in a terrible prison (known as a second grade classroom) for 3 months, 2 weeks and 1 day.  He wants FREEDOM and plans to escape with his best friends Barry and Biter.  Things don’t go exactly as planned….
This is the first book in a series.  Book two, The Great Art Caper, is being published in June 2017.
Amazon lists the age range as 6-10 years and grade level as grades 1-5.
Here is a comment from a SLJ review by Kiera Parrott:
VERDICT  Hand this charmingly goofy graphic novel to chapter book readers who enjoy Dav Pilkey’s works, Cyndi Marko’s “Kung Pow Chicken” series and Geoffrey Hayes’s “Benny and Penny” books.
 
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Posted by on November 11, 2016 in Adventure, Funny, Graphic Novels

 

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The Great Pet Escape

great pet escapeTitle: The Great Pet Escape
Author: Victoria Jamieson
Series: Pets on the Loose
Recommended for: 2nd – 4th Grade
Pages: 63 pages
Call Number/Link:  GN J JAMIESON, V.

Synopsis: The class pets at Daisy P. Flugelhorn Elementary School want OUT . . . and GW (short for George Washington), the deceptively cute hamster in the second-grade classroom, is just the guy to lead the way. But when he finally escapes and goes to find his former partners in crime, Barry and Biter, he finds that they actually LIKE being class pets. Impossible!

Just as GW gets Barry and Biter to agree to leave with him, a mouse named Harriet and her many mouse minions get in their way. What follows is class-pet chaos guaranteed to make readers giggle . . . and maybe look at their class pets a little differently in the future.

This is a beginning graphic novel that kids will like.  It has adventure, and humor, though some of the humor the kids will not get.  It is a fast paced, colorful graphic novel with mischief, friendship and even sharing feelings.  I recommend for 2nd grade and up because I just don’t know if most 1st graders will get the humor in the story.

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2016 in Graphic Novels, Juv

 

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Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword

Hereville

Title: How Mirka Got Her Sword
Author:Barry Deutsch
Series:Hereville
Recommended for: Mid-to-high 5th grade and up, especially the geek girls and fantasy enthusiasts. *Waves geek flag high*
Pages: 137
Call Number/Link:  GN J Hereville V. 1 

Synopsis:

Spunky ten-year-old Mirka Herschberg hones her skills in her Orthodox Jewish community before accepting the challenges presented in these books.

Review: Okay, I have to confess that I have read this before. However, upon re-reading it this summer, I remembered why I originally liked it so much!

Despite a fairly unusual setting and action-packed fairy tale plot, Mirka is a familiar heroine; there are trolls to be fought and swords to be won, but the author does not shy away from including such relatable problems as grief, sibling rivalry, and tween-girl growing pains (no boy-girl drama, though. For Mirka, at least, boys still have cooties, and brothers are pains-in-the-neck who need to be protected). All the issues are handled quite well, and at a developmentally-appropriate level. The sass is strong with this one: Mirka is no shrinking violet, and her quick temper will be familiar to many readers, as will her soft heart, which causes our heroine to repent quickly when her sharp tongue gets her in trouble or stings someone she loves. (She is disrespectful towards her stepmother at times, but appropriate consequences are clearly shown.) Without giving too much away, I must say I was very pleased that, like fairy-tale heroes before her, Mirka’s gift of gab gets her into and out of hot water. It all depends on how it is used. (This is a fantasy land where there is a definite good and evil, and the author does a brilliant job of communicating that.)

Mirka’s Orthodox Jewish community may not be familiar to most readers; there was a great deal that was new to me, at least! However, there are plenty of explanations throughout the book (well-phrased, so we get the picture without feeling talked-down-to) so the reader feels relatively comfortable in Mirka’s world.

It’s an unusual, quirky book, but one that will hopefully appeal to both boys and girls who like action, adventure, and fantasy. Basically, once they are done with Zita the Spacegirl or Redwall or Warrior Cats, or even Diary of a Wimpy Kid, they can try this one.

 

Hippopotamister

Hippopotamister cover

Title:    Hippopotamister
Author:   John Patrick Green
Series:  —
Recommended for:  early chapter book readers, early readers on the C or D level, listeners ages 4 and older
Pages:   84 p.
Call Number/Link:   GN J GREEN, J.

Rating:  ****

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

“The zoo isn’t what it used to be. It’s run down, and Hippo hardly ever gets any visitors. So he decides to set off for the outside with his friend Red Panda. To make it in the human world, Hippo will have to become a Hippopotamister: he’ll have to act like a human, get a job, and wear a hat as a disguise. He’s a good employee, whether he’s a construction worker, a hair stylist, or a sous chef. But what he really needs is a job where he can be himself”–Amazon.com.

 

Comments:

Hippopotamister is my kind of graphic novel!  It strikes me as one or two steps beyond a picture book.  Its text is fairly short, but in speech bubbles, and the print is large enough for younger readers.  (Happily, the text is also large enough for more aged readers!)

It is the cute, funny story of a red panda and hippopotamus who leave the worn down City Zoo to live amongst the humans.  They have a series of jobs, but wind up being fired from each and every one.

Now for the $20,000 question:  will they ever find the place where they actually belong?

I think this book will appeal to readers who have a good grasp of sight words and are ready for something a bit more complicated.  Listeners ages 4 and up will also enjoy it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2016 in Funny, Graphic Novels, Juv

 

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Resistance

Resistance

Jacket (1)Title:: Resistance
Author: : Carla Jablonski ; illustrated by Leland Purvis ; color by Hilary Sycamore.
Series: Resistance trilogy
Recommended for: Grades 5-9
Pages: Unpaginated
Call Number/Link:  GN J JAB
Synopsis: A couple’s bucolic French town is almost untouched by the ravages of WWII. When their friend goes into hiding and his Jewish parents disappear, they realize they must take a stand.
Review:  This is a tough book, but important. It is about the occupation of France as told from the point of view of children. The authors work hard to make the story gripping without being melodramatic. The excellently capture the fear and uncertainty of war coupled with the power of family. End notes in the book talk a bit more about the war and reasonably discuss the idea that war is filled with shades of grey, explaining some of the ideas as to why people might collaborate with the Nazis.

 

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