GRAPHIC NOVELS

Comics: Easy as ABC!: The Essential Guide to Comics for Kids

TOON. Apr. 2019. 56p. bibliog. further reading. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781943145447; pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781943145393.
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Gr 1-5–This volume distills every major lesson a young doodler, comic book reader, or graphic novel enthusiast would ever need. Brunetti starts slow with a simple adage to “doodle!” and then moves at a quick clip with a new lesson on each page. The inclusion of complex topics such as perspective, scale, and movement emphasizes how rich and nuanced the medium is. The lessons become more challenging, inspiring readers to return to the book as their skills progress. Brunetti maintains a jovial tone that will encourage children to pause or skip around as the mood strikes. Artwork and words of wisdom from illustrators such as Jeff Smith (“Bone”), Elise Gravel (“Disgusting Critters”), Neil Gaiman (“Sandman”), and James Sturm (“Adventures in Cartooning”) are interspersed throughout. The “How To Read Comics with Kids” tips may not be groundbreaking to storytime experts but will be invaluable to parents, especially those of the mind-set that a graphic novel isn’t a real book. The further reading and bibliography list other comics or illustration manuals and acknowledge the breadth of work by other greats who paved the way for the comics field.
VERDICT Drawing guides have never been so appealing. A must

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