{comics} no sleeping beauty

The Rise of Aurora West By Paul Pope; J. T. Petty; David Rubín (Illustrator) (First Second Books 2014) tradepaper. Having read Paul Pope’s Battling Boy, naturally I was eager to seek out The Rise of Aurora West. We’d met Aurora West in Battling Boy as the recently orphaned (before our eyes) daughter of Arcopolis’ Science Hero Haggard West. The Rise…

{picture book} Hatke’s creatures

Julia’s House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke First Second 2014. When Julia’s house finds a new place to settle, she puts a sign out for lost creatures to combat her own sense of loneliness. But now a new conflict has arisen and a list of chores is her solution. Ben Hatke, whom we have…

{comic} revealed

Hidden : A Child’s Story of the Holocaust Written by Loïc Dauvillier; Illustrated by Marc Lizano Color by Greg Salsedo; Translated from the French by Alexis Siegel First Second Books, 2014. Ages 6-10; Grades 1-5.  Encouraged to talk about her evident sadness, a grandmother shares her memories long hidden about her experience as a child…

{picture/book} rules of summer

Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan. Arthur A. Levine (Scholastic) 2013.  “Never break the rules. Especially, if you don’t understand them.”–back cover copy. Rules of Summer, in its most simplified description, is about two brothers’ summer adventures. The story is told by Shaun Tan so there is the surreal and the incredible wordless impact of…

{comic} this one summer

If the summer narrative isn’t your glass of lemonade, it isn’t mine either, but I had to see what all the raving was about and I was very pleasantly surprised. Make it your book club read. Make it the first comic you’ve decided to read if you have been harboring a mistaken belief that comics…

{book} the colorless

When Tsukuru first hears Haida’s recording of Franz Liszt’s ‘Le mal du pays,’ from the Years of Pilgrimage suite ‘Year 1: Switzerland,” it is described as “a quiet, sorrowful piece that began with a slow, memorable theme played out as single notes, then proceeded into a series of tranquil variations” (68). Tsukuru asks Haida about…

{book} mirrors

Zetta Elliott offered a free copy of her book to interested reviewers. Please do not believe that I proceeded to read and review The Magic Mirror with bias. If you’ve spent any real length of time here on ‘omphaloskepsis’, you know I’m a fair and balanced reviewer, but I felt it should be clarified nonetheless. The Magic…

{comics} atypical

“a sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the universe.” Saga : Volumes One & Two by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples Image Comics 2012 & 2013 respectively. This waiting for the next volume to come off hold at the Library is excruciating. It isn’t that I do not have other…

{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 portal…

{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 being…