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Children's LiteratureGraphic novels are quickly taking their place in adult literature and what becomes fashionable there soon finds its way into children's books. Children have always been attracted to comic books for their snappy action, minimal words, and ability to pull a reader along to the end. Now we have graphic novels for kids: Their strengths should be in their pictures and in their ability to convey meaning through those pictures and words, most of which are dialogue. This book, originally from England, tells a familiar story—rich boy has every material thing, but lacks parental attention—in four chapters and many sentences, much like an illustrated book. Although the pictures follow the story, one could understand it perfectly well without them. The best part is the green aliens that the boy, Albert, sees whenever he is depressed by his parents' absence or self-absorption. The story goes on to tell how the aliens get the message to Mom and Dad and the happy resolution of the problem. Surely it will appeal to some readers if only for the format, though it is not as exciting as a comic book. This is one tale in the "Graphic Trax" series for competent primary-grade readers or less advanced middle ones (also useful for English as a second language). The author does a decent job, though it might have been better if writer and artist had been one and the same, producing a more direct and compelling blend of action and illustration and a less predictable plot line. 2006 (orig. 2003), Stone Arch, Ages 6 to 10.
—Barbara L. Talcroft