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[Monday Reading] When Comic Creators Write Picturebooks (Part 1 of 2)

Liz Climo and Jennifer and Matthew Holm.


It's Monday! What Are You Reading

Myra here.

It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (new host of Monday reading: Kathryn T at Book Date). Since two of our friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have been joining this meme for quite awhile now, we thought of joining this warm and inviting community. 

I was thrilled to discover these two picturebooks that have been published by comic book creators. I like how artists are now diversifying and how the boundaries across specific genres are blurring and evolving. Watch out for Part 2 of my post next week.

Rory The Dinosaur Wants A Pet [Amazon | Book Depository]

Written and Illustrated by Liz Climo
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (2016)
ISBN: 0316277290 (ISBN13: 9780316277297). Borrowed from Overdrive. Book photos taken by me. 

Rory spent a day at the beach with his friends Hank and Vera, where the former introduced them all to his pet named Sheldon.

They had so much fun with Sheldon that Rory was left thinking how wonderful it would be if he had a pet of his own. So he went around the jungle and the beach trying to find the perfect pet, to no avail:

Whether or not Rory eventually found a pet, I shall leave for you to discover. This book is a testament to the power of imagination, fun, and play.

I did not realize that this book was actually part of a series until I checked it out on Goodreads. The series started with Rory The Dinosaur: Me And My Dad (Amazon | Book Depository) and ended (thus far) with Book 3: Rory The Dinosaur Needs A Christmas Tree (Amazon | Book Depository).

The Evil Princess Vs. The Brave Knight [Amazon | Book Depository]

Written by Jennifer L. Holm Illustrated by Matthew Holm
Published by Random House Books for Young Readers (2019) ISBN: 1524771341 (ISBN13: 9781524771348). Borrowed from Overdrive. Book photos taken by me. 

If you are looking for a book about sibling conflict, rivalry, and the reality of the experience without moralizing or a neat little resolution at the end that conveys explicit lessons for children to learn from – then this book is perfect for you.

The Evil Princess, as befitting her role, plays tricks on her brother; while the latter tries to be brave and courageous and fights off imaginary monsters. What I especially liked about the story is the ethnicity of the main characters that is a non-issue in the narrative, but taken as a matter of course. I also enjoyed how gender stereotypes are turned over on its head, without being heavy handed, but just portrayed in images (see below):

This is an entertaining book that could prove to be more of a hit to children, rather than well-meaning parents who may mistakenly expect moral lessons in children’s stories.

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

3 comments on “[Monday Reading] When Comic Creators Write Picturebooks (Part 1 of 2)

  1. I love many of the picture books that are a mashup of traditional picture book and graphic novel. Creativity has no bounds! Both of these books look delightful.
    I loved your last line, “This is an entertaining book that could prove to be more of a hit to children, rather than well-meaning parents who may mistakenly expect moral lessons in children’s stories.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. lindabaie

    The new Holm book looks cute & I have a neighbor who adores dinosaur books. I’ll share those Rory books with them. Thanks, Myra!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Completely Full Bookshelf

    These look like adorable picture books! I like that The Evil Princess Vs. The Brave Knight doesn’t force a moral on kids. Thanks for the great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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