{comics} many happy returns

The Return of Zita the Spacegirl By Ben Hatke First Second 2014. That the entirety of Ben Hatke’s The Return of Zita the Spacegirl is an epic jailbreak comes as no surprise. From the very first book in the series, Zita has been held against her will—or has she? We know her slip through the portalContinue reading “{comics} many happy returns”

{comics} 15 & Fated

Cleopatra in Space: Target Practice by Mike Maihack Graphix (Scholastic) 2014 Comics you should already have read (and hopefully own) before the middle-grade years hit: Jellaby (Kean Soo), Zita the Spacegirl (Ben Hatke), Amelia Rules! (Jimmy Gownley) and Kazu Kibuishi’s Explorer and Amulet series (still incomplete). I’m obviously only naming a few. And I am beingContinue reading “{comics} 15 & Fated”

{comic} brand spanking new, except not.

Battling Boy by Paul Pope First Second 2013. One of the things I like about superhero comics is their ability to both maintain continuity and prove regenerative. Need to reboot a character or story? Will do. Has the essence of the hero and their story really changed? No. Even so, it is still hard to break intoContinue reading “{comic} brand spanking new, except not.”

here you go…

Day Eight: Here I Am by Patti Kim, pictures by Sonia Sánchez Capstone 2014…the Book trailer  . Newly arrived from their faraway homeland, a boy and his family enter into the lights, noise, and traffic of a busy American city. The language is unfamiliar. Food, habits, games, and gestures are puzzling. They boy clings tightly toContinue reading “here you go…”

with Quiet resilience.

Day Seven:  Bird          By Zetta Elliott , Illus. Shadra Strickland    Lee & Low Books, 2008. Hardcover. . Young Mekhai, better known as Bird, loves to draw. With drawings, he can erase the things that don’t turn out right. In real life, problems aren’t so easily fixed. As Bird struggles to understand theContinue reading “with Quiet resilience.”

{comics} good literature

Jane, the Fox & Me by Fanny Britt, and artist Isabelle Arsenault translated by Christelle Morelli and Susan Ouriou Groundwood Books, 2013. orig. Jane, le renard & moi (Les Éditions de La Pastèque, 2012) Hélène has been inexplicably ostracized by the girls who were once her friends. Her school life is full of whispers and lies — HélèneContinue reading “{comics} good literature”

{comics} lost islands & found creators

Explorer: The Lost Islands  edited by Kazu Kibuishi Amulet Books (Abrams) 2013. tradepaper, 128 pages, incl “about the creators.” Library Loan The highly anticipated second volume to the critically acclaimed Explorer series, “The Lost Islands “is a collection of seven all-new stories written and illustrated by an award-winning roster of comics artists, with each storyContinue reading “{comics} lost islands & found creators”

{book} open mic

Open Mic: Riffs on Life Between Cultures in Ten Voices edited by Mitali Perkins Candlewick, 2013. (ages 12 & up) hardcover, 127pages w/ “About the Contributors.” Library loan. As Mitali Perkins observes in her “Introduction,” “humor has the power to break down barriers and cross borders. Once you’ve shared a laugh with someone, it’s almostContinue reading “{book} open mic”

{book} cello girls

Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell w/ illustrations by Terry Fan Simon & Schuster, 2013. Hardcover, 277 pages. newly owned, juvenile fiction (8-12). ‘On the morning of its first birthday, a baby was found floating in a cello case in the middle of the English Channel.’ Sophie may have survived a shipwreck as a baby, but herContinue reading “{book} cello girls”

{comic} the art of shadows

Will & Whit by Laura Lee Gulledge Amulet (Abrams), 2013. Trade Paper, 192 pages including “soundtrack,” author’s “inspiration board” for book, & recipe for “Blue Crush Cookies. ages 12 & up. Laura Lee Gulledge’s debut Page by Paige (2011) involved not only a great story about moving to a new place, finding new friends, romantic drama,Continue reading “{comic} the art of shadows”