Posts from the ‘graphic novel’ Category

SCOUT’S HONOR

The Hairy Fairy: The Hairy Fairy Tales, Book 1

Written by Mark Watson

On Saturday morning, Jack wakes up to discover a hairy fairy sitting on his head. Jack is incredulous. The fairy informs Jack that his boss is angry with him for messing with her cat, so she banished him to spend a day sitting on someone’s head. He tells Jack that no one else can see him, but that doesn’t mean they can’t cause mischief and have some fun. Poor Jack is determined to carry out his previous plan to spend the day at the Scout Jamboree. When he goes to the market, the fairy causes the vegetables to grow. They soon take over the town and cause all manner of havoc. Now Jack and his nemesis are trapped. Will they be able to escape? What will happen to the town now involved with the military in a battle against the vegetables, likened to World War III?

This book of fewer than fifty pages might best be described as a beginning chapter book. The clever rhymes are filled with humor and challenging vocabulary. Illustrations are done in graphic novel style. Aimed at a six to twelve age audience, I think that advanced beginning readers and middle school students will love the quirky plot and offbeat humorous rhymes. Fans of fantasy, sci-fi, and humor probably will enjoy it.

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CAT CITY CAPER

The Three Pirate City Cats

Written and illustrated by John E. Dorey

threecitypiratespic

Cute picture book for students in the primary grades. I like the author’s layout using speech bubbles for the text and animation type illustrations for the animal characters. Dorey introduces his readers to three abandoned cat siblings, Grace, Sam and Charlie. Left to fend for themselves they observe a human watching a TV show about pirates. The siblings are frightened by a dog, who turns out to be a friend. He leads them to a storage locker that will provide them with the props they need to create their own pirate adventure.

This forty two page book has visual and story-line appeal for early readers. My only criticism of the book is that it does not provide a conclusion, but rather invites the reader to create their own story. While I certainly do not object to an interactive story, some readers may be disappointed that there is no definite denouement to the plot. That is my reason for not giving the book a five star rating.

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WHAT’S IN A NAME?

The Chronicles of Ragnar Rabbit Book 1 How I Got My Name

Written and illustrated by Melinda Kinsman

Ragnar Rabbit,pic

Funny and clever early reader done in the format of a graphic novel. Protagonist is a stuffed rabbit nicknamed Raggy; the real story is how he got his name Ragnar. One day Raggy’s human owner, Max, goes to the library with his grandpa. They return home with a book about Vikings. Max and Raggy begin to act out Viking adventures. Max builds a Viking ship with the help of his parents and Raggy.

The next day, they are about to launch their ship when Raggy is whisked away by a vulture. I won’t give away the plot, but I can say Raggy will encounter a Ninja, and a helicopter before being kidnapped again. Max is disconsolate; the family searches for two weeks. At the end of the story, readers are still unaware of the whereabouts of Raggy, now named Rangar in honor of a famous Viking warrior. What has happened to the dedicated stuffed rabbit? Will he be reunited with Max? Guess we will find out in Book 2.

The simple vocabulary and speech balloons allow early readers to master the text and follow the emotions of the characters, including the adorable ants who comment and have their own little adventures while following Max and Raggy. Nice bedtime story, but particularly recommended for reluctant readers or as a beginning reader for ages four through seven.

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FIGHTING FOR IRISH INDEPENDENCE: WAR AGAINST THE NORSE CLANS

Freedom Within the Heart

Written and directed by Mark Mahon

Pencils and Inks by:

Miguel Caceres

Colors by Veronica Gandini

Freedomwithintheheart,pic

This is a graphic novel based on a screenplay. Mahon bases his tale on the ancient history concerning the feuds between the Irish and the Norsemen and begins in 910 A.D. The pagan Vikings pillage the Church and meet with little resistance from the Irish. A short period of peace follows and the action picks up in the home of the Kennedy clan. Two young brothers Malhoun and Brian are listening to the legends of the battles. They are the protagonists who will struggle with the Norsemen in the near future.

There are lots of battle scenes depicting gruesome warfare, greed, cruelty, revenge and family tragedy. The plot is well developed and flows smoothly. The characters and their emotions are aptly portrayed in words and graphics. Drawings and colors are vivid and rich with minute attention to detail.

Lots of violence depicted in the battle scenes and the implied violence meted down to the women and children of the clans. For that reason, I would recommend parents of children under twelve review it for objectionable material. Recommended as an exceptionally well done graphic novel for lovers of that genre who enjoy history.

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