May 28, 2017

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Rickety Stitch and the Gelatinous Goo: The Road to Epoli by Ben Costa & James Parks | SLJ Review

COSTA, Ben & James Parks. Rickety Stitch and the Gelatinous Goo: The Road to Epoli. illus. by Ben Costa. 208p. Knopf. Jun. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780399556135; pap. $14.99. ISBN 9780399556142.

Gr 6 Up –Rickety Stitch is a skeleton minstrel who travels throughout the fantasy realm of Eem with Goo, his jiggling cube of a sidekick. Unlike the other reanimated skeletons in this world, Rickety retains his personality, but he has no memory of who he was when he […]

Graphic Novels: The Latest from Bryan Lee O’Malley and the Archie Universe | June 2017 Xpress Reviews

“Scott Pilgrim” author Bryan Lee O’Malley unveils a new heroine, Snot Girl; fans of the Archie comics are in for a treat.

This article was published in School Library Journal's June 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Interview: Dan Parent on Kevin Keller

This is one of a series of interviews I did while researching the article “Just Another Day in an LGBTQ Comic,” which appeared in the May 2017 issue of SLJ. When I started thinking about LGBTQ characters in children’s comics, Kevin Keller immediately sprang to mind, because when Kevin made his debut, in 2010, he […]

Interview: Pénélope Bagieu on ‘California Dreamin’: Cass Elliot Before The Mamas & the Papas’

She is probably best known by the name Mama Cass, or perhaps by Cass Elliot, but the little girl who grew up to take on those names was first named Ellen Cohen by her parents. It is Ellen, and her journey to become Cass and one of the Mamas in The Mamas & The Papas […]

Review: ‘Cici: A Fairy’s Tale,’ Vols. 1-3

A lot is changing in Cici’s life: Her parents are separating, her wacky abuela is moving in, and on her tenth birthday, she wakes up with fairy wings! With the wings also come magical powers that Cici must learn to use and control as she sees her family and friends as they truly are and […]

Mystery of the Ghost Ship by Philip Pullman | SLJ Review

PULLMAN, Philip . Mystery of the Ghost Ship. illus. by Fred Fordham. 160p. (The Adventures of John Black). Scholastic/Graphix. Jun. 2017. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781338149128.

Gr 8 Up –When Harvard student Danielle succeeds in tracking the legendary Mary Alice, a pirate ship that disappears and reappears across time, she becomes drawn into a conspiracy headed by the menacing Dahlberg Corporation. The Dahlbergs are after the secrets of the Mary Alice, and only Royal Navy agent Roger Blake opposes them. […]

Just Another Day in an LGBTQ Comic

In these comics and graphic novels for tweens, LGBTQ characters are no big deal. Any romance stays in the background—and is G-rated.

This article was published in School Library Journal's May 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Interview: Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham on ‘Real Friends’

I’m a sporadic social networker. On the rare day, when I have a few minutes of down time, I will go online and try and catch up on either Twitter or Facebook. So the other day, when I had a few minutes (read: procrastinating), I realized that the release date of Shannon Hale and LeUyen […]

An Introduction to Graphic Novels for Children

On May 5, I made a presentation for Mass Library Systems about graphic novels for children. This page, which will be updated as more links come in, is designed to serve as a resource for librarians and others who are interested in the field. I’m starting with a list of the recommended books, with links […]

Dept. H: Vol. 1: Pressure by Matt Kindt | SLJ Review

KINDT, Matt. Dept. H: Vol. 1: Pressure. illus. by Matt Kindt & Sharlene Kindt. 168p. Dark Horse. Jan. 2017. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781616559892.

Gr 7 Up –Matt Kindt delivers another amazing graphic novel with an imaginative premise. This is a highly unusual locked-room mystery, centering on an unexplained death that occurred in an undersea research station. Mia is sent down to the station to find out exactly what happened to her father. She doesn’t know if his death was […]

Hilda, Jughead, ‘Ghosts’ Get Eisner Nominations

The 2016 Eisner Award nominations were announced yesterday, and as always, the kids’ and YA selections are an interesting bunch. Here you go: Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 8) Ape and Armadillo Take Over the World, by James Sturm (Toon) Burt’s Way Home, by John Martz (Koyama) The Creeps, Book 2: The […]

The Big Bad Fox by Benjamin Renner | SLJ Review

RENNER, Benjamin. The Big Bad Fox. tr. from French by Joe Johnson. illus. by Benjamin Renner. 192p. First Second. Jun. 2017. pap. $15.99. ISBN 9781626723313.

Gr 3-6 –The proverbial fox may be a menace to the henhouse—but not the hero of this work. The titular character lacks gumption, guile, or cunning, and the chickens send him running each time he ventures into the farmyard. Taking pity on the fox, the wolf proposes playing the long game: stealing eggs and […]

Exclusive: BOOM! Studios Announces ‘The Amazing World of Gumball: After School Special’

Breaking news from BOOM! Studios! In September, they will publish The Amazing World of Gumball: After School Special, their third original graphic novel based on the Cartoon Network series. This graphic novel is an anthology of stories about the Gumball crew from a variety of creators, many of whom will be familiar to our readers, […]

Review: ‘Itty Bitty Hellboy’

Itty Bitty Hellboy By Art Baltazar and Franco Dark Horse, 2014 Ages 8 and up You have to give Art and Franco points for boldness: It’s one thing to do Tiny Titans comics about DC superheroes—most kids have heard of Superman. Hellboy, on the other hand, is not exactly a children’s property. Indeed, this book […]

Review: ‘One Trick Pony’

One Trick Pony Writer/artist: Nathan Hale Abrams Books; $14.95 In his book series Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales, cartoonist Nathan Hale presents thrilling adventure stories culled from American history. In his original graphic novel One Trick Pony, Hale looks to the far-flung future and finds a thrilling adventure there. The fast-moving sci-fi epic is set so […]

Interview: Cecil Castellucci on ‘Soupy Leaves Home’

Cecil Castellucci and Jose Pimienta’s Soupy Leaves Home, set during the Depression, is a story about a girl who walks away from an abusive home, disguises herself as a boy, and rides the rails as a hobo. Her companion and protector is Ramshackle, a much older man whose imagination and open-heartedness help her heal and […]

Gene Luen Yang Comic Available for Download

Download a high-res PDF version of “Comfort Zone,” Gene Luen Yang’s original comic for SLJ.

Check Out 8 New Graphic Novels for Teens

“Good Comics 4 Kids” blogger Brigid Alverson highlights new graphic novels for young adults, including a “Superman” comic by Gene Luen Yang and an adaption of an Octavia Butler classic.

Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld | SLJ Review

WESTERFELD, Scott. Spill Zone. illus. by Alex Puvilland. 224p. First Second. May 2017. Tr $22.99. ISBN 9781596439368.

Gr 10 Up –It’s a mystery why three years ago Poughkeepsie suddenly broke the boundaries of reality, giving life to demonic wolves and sentient twisters, or why its human inhabitants now hang suspended in the air like puppets. It wasn’t aliens, it wasn’t a nuclear attack, and the military isn’t talking. That isn’t Addison’s mystery to solve; all she has to do […]

Noodleheads See the Future by Tedd Arnold, Martha Hamilton & Mitch Weiss | SLJ Review

ARNOLD, Tedd, Martha Hamilton, & Mitch Weiss. Noodleheads See the Future. illus. by Tedd Arnold. 48p. Holiday House. Jan. 2017. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9780823436736.

K-Gr 3 –The creator of Fly Guy follows up Noodlehead Nightmares with another hilarious and engaging anthropomorphic book full of wacky slapstick. Brothers Mac and Mac are the titular heroes, and, yes, they are literally pieces of pasta. They are also, well, noodleheads: the literal-minded brothers are incapable of understanding metaphor or grasping simple concepts. […]