Tag Archive for graphic novels

Review — Spotlight Stiker

Sports Illustrated Kids, in conjunction with Stone Arch Books, created a series of sports related fictional comic stories for elementary and middle school kids. The comics are designed to teach lessons on teamwork, sharing, anger control, bullying, fair play, disability inclusion, gender inclusion, and other lessons through a sports framework. Both mainstream and alternative sports are included: • Snowboarding • Baseball • Football • Basketball • Paintball • Hockey • Skateboarding • Soccer Many of the stories feature an overenthusiastic or even out-of-control parent or coach who pushes a kid to be overly aggressive and win at all costs. After a quick talk with a sage advisor they change their ways and even apologize to the player. Okay, so it’s an ending with a pretty-bow. I’m typically more of a fan of authentic stories rather than teachable moment morality tales or after-school specials, but I understand the place that morality tales play in the classroom especially with younger kids. Considering the discussion of bullying within schools and society recently, perhaps we need more direct instruction on how to treat other people and behave within society. I think these would be well played on the elementary or early middle school level, but I suspect seventh and eighth graders might wholly reject the titles with their eye rolling, sighing and general sardonic teenagerness. That doesn’t mean they don’t need the lessons or should not have the lessons, but you might encounter resistance. The elementary level is where this series will do its good. Classroom teachers and even physical education teachers could use this series to help instruct kids on the complicated issues of bullying, ball hogging, aggression, and extreme sports pressures. Even on the elementary level we see students pushed very hard by parents or coaches to accel, win and often hurt or punish the other team. Learning to deal with those pressures at an early level can help with character development on and off the field. ART REVIEW SI Kids comics are designed like a TV sports show with stats, bios, and after-game interviews. The whole package is designed to engage reluctant readers in a TV-style experience. Once hooked, it can teach them honorable sports conduct. In a further attempt to gain entrance into modern minds, SI Kids comics use colorized manga with simple panel layouts, which is popular among youth.
—The Graphic Classroom

Review — Perseus and Medusa

This full-color graphic novel is an adaptation of the Greek myth of the hero half-god Perseus. A king demands that Perseus retrieve Medusa’s head. Thus the first trial of this hero begins. The goddess Athena helps him along the way. The graphic novel details his assistance from the nymphs and Hermes, Perseus’ trickery with the Gray Witches to gain Medusa’s address, and his ultimate fight with Medusa. His trip home fulfills a destiny that had been decreed before his birth—his grandfather dying by Perseus’ own hand. Information about monsters in the myths, discussion questions and writing prompts are also included. As one of the four hero myth tales being retold by Stone Arch’s Graphic Revolve series, this adaptation succeeds fairly well. The story does not feel shortened drastically at any given point. The pacing flows nicely from one part of the adventure to the next. As with the others in the series, the text is written at a third grade level encouraging a wider audience for this title. The artwork has many memorable panels; in particular, Medusa’s stone garden was both horrific and wonderfully detailed. The character designs would be at home in a role playing fantasy video game. Upper elementary and junior high readers who enjoy mythology or the recent Percy Jackson and the Olympians series will eagerly grab this graphic novel.
—VOYA

Review — Eek and Ack vs the Wolfman

Two goofy aliens come to conquer Earth and fortunately for them, it’s Halloween, so no one suspects they’re real aliens. But a very real werewolf shows up to attack the town, and they have to think fast. Mild gross-outs, plenty of humor, and comedy monsters make this appealing without being really scary.
—School Library Journal

Review — Eek and Ack vs the Wolfman

Eek and Ack are alien invaders determined to conquer earth, but instead they often find themselves in troublesome situations. In the latest volume in the Graphic Sparks series, aimed at younger readers, the inept aliens land their laundry-dryer-shaped spaceship on the spookiest day of the year, Halloween. The good news is that even though they wear weak disguises, no one suspects they are really creatures from another planet. The bad news is that a werewolf decides to attack the town. The cute story will definitely appeal to younger fans of graphic novels, and children learning to read and those being introduced to sequential art will enjoy the cartoon-style illustrations. In the back of the book, readers will discover a glossary, more facts about werewolves, discussion questions, writing prompts, and Internet sites, all of which make this graphic novel very appealing to educators and parents. With out-of-this-world silliness mixed with a touch of gross humor and a gob of goofy monsters, this will be a popular choice.
—Booklist

Review — Kickoff Blitz

Ok, let me start out by announcing that I am NOT a sports fan. I’m not into sports…not a sports person whatsoever. You may have guessed this by the fact that I run a network of nerdy websites. I mean, I review books….what’d you seriously expect, right? Here is the thing with these releases from Capstone Kids [Stone Arch Books]….they rock, plain and simple. Why? Read on…. I gave this stack of books from Capstone and Sports Illustrated Kids to my own children and they went nuts! They too aren’t into sports, but these aren’t books for jocks. These are extreme sports and the focus is really on the characters and story. The sports hobbies are really just a backdrop. They’re fun and interesting and not at all geared just towards jocky kids. We wanted to feature this series and bring them to your attention, whether you’re a librarian, teacher or a parent, these titles should be in your possession!
—Book Legion

Review — Perseus and Medusa

Young Perseus grows up unaware of his royal birth. Before he can claim his heritage, the hero is ordered to slay a hideous monster named Medusa, whose gaze turns men into solid stone. How can he fight an enemy he cannot even look at? Review: A great retelling of the famous myth in graphic novel format. This is a Stone Arch publication so it has all the extra goodies teachers and librarians want to see at the back as well – more about the myth, discussion questions, writing prompts, and a glossary! Definitely a fun story for kids to read about and a great way to learn about mythology. And did I mention it was a graphic novel? *loves graphic novels* Recommended for 3rd grade and up.
—Bookworming in the 21st Century

Review — Eek and Ack vs the Wolfman

I have to admit this book cracked me up. Eek & Ack travel to earth in their spaceship – that really looks like a washing machine – to discover why it is so hard to conquer. Their disguises are hilarious – one wearing a tutu and the other in a hooded robe of sorts. They end up traveling to earth on Halloween and meet up with a wolfboy. Let’s just say, they’re not staying long on this Earth. This graphic novel is comical and fantastical, elements that I both enjoy. These books will be great for kids who like something a bit more funny.
—Bookworming in the 21st Century

Review — Perseus and Medusa

This retelling of the famous Greek myth is quite complete in its details including parts of the story not always included in children’s versions such as the Gorgons which frequently get dropped. But I was most impressed with the inclusion of the sidestory of Perseus’s return journey home including his saving of Andromeda before he returns to court with the head of Medusa. A very true retelling, keeping it suitable for children. There is a bit of violence, Medusa does get her head chopped off after all, and with that a few drops of blood are shown here and there over a few pages. Nothing I wouldn’t deem suitable for an 8yo of my own. The illustrations are gorgeous! I always say this when I review a Stone Arch book but they always use top-notch artists for their books. Perez has worked for Marvel and Dark Horse comics and his illustrations beautifully bring the story alive. A must read for mythology fans!
—Back to Books

Review — Eek and Ack vs the Wolfman

EEK & ACK VS THE WOLFMAN is more comedy than horror with just enough monster goodness to tickle a child’s fancy but not enough to give anyone the slightest nightmare. I laughed throughout the book and constantly thought of the kids at my school and how they would really dig this book. The girls and the boys would laugh at the crazy antics of Eek and Ack. There’s an underpants scene, vomit, a washing machine space ship, and two goofy looking aliens. How could kids not love this book?

The pacing is right on with plenty of funny dialogue, great situations, and hysterical action.
—The Graphic Classroom

Review — Eek and Ack vs the Wolfman

Aliens Eek and Ack want to find out why Earth is so hard to conquer. They dress up in “traditional Earthling costumes” and arrive on the planet during a meteor shower, a perfect disguise for their landing. They do not realize that it is Halloween or that the Wolfman is on the loose. Harpster’s characters are wonderfully drawn in dark colors, and readers see the full emotion behind these charming aliens.
—School Library Journal