Baby Don't Smoke

Baby Don't Smoke

by Everett Jaime, Eliot R. Brown
     
 

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The findings against cigarette use haven't been new or remarkable for years. What is remarkable is the continued allure of smoking despite its obvious dangers. "I attribute this in many ways to the prolonged, clever (insert 'devious') marketing of the cigarette companies,” says author Everett Jaime, an Hispanic American. Baby Don't Smoke, his short graphic novel

Overview

The findings against cigarette use haven't been new or remarkable for years. What is remarkable is the continued allure of smoking despite its obvious dangers. "I attribute this in many ways to the prolonged, clever (insert 'devious') marketing of the cigarette companies,” says author Everett Jaime, an Hispanic American. Baby Don't Smoke, his short graphic novel, is directed to young parents and pregnant teens, and their social network of friends and family. It boldly points a finger at the cigarette companies as an unnecessary and greedy empire.
"Baby Don't Smoke” is an exciting, information-rich and colorful graphic novel of a teenage Latino girl named Maria who lives in East Los Angeles with her mother, boyfriend and their newborn. She is lead through a series of dramatic encounters with sinister and friendly characters which climax in a surprise ending, leaving her with the resolve to quit smoking forever.
Since badgering and many forms of education about the obvious health concerns caused by smoking haven't eliminated the problem, Baby Don't Smoke takes a different approach. It encourages teens to rebel! In this case, against the cigarette companies who entice them into addiction and ill-health, and thus contribute to the illness of their infants and children. "We give people a pre-packaged, cool, rebellious identity when they can't create one for themselves,” scoffs Doris, the novel's seductive and brilliant villainess who controls Tobacco Empire. When protagonist Maria, a pregnant teen, responds with sarcasm, "You must be very proud,” Doris counters menacingly, "I'm not proud, I'm rich.”
"Baby Don't Smoke" presents hard evidence of the dangers of smoking in an imaginative, edgy, & readable format. Contemporary illustrations by Eliot R. Brown, an artist for Marvel Comics and others, skillfully drives home the message. The approach is perfectly suited to its target market-lower-income, ethnic teens & pre-teens-without ever patronizing them.
The book will appeal to library markets, especially high schools and junior highs, and to health educators, as well as Planned Parenthood and other agencies concerned with teen pregnancy and health. In bookstores, it should attract parents & friends of young smokers who will buy it to leave around for their loved ones to spot.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up—Maria, a young mother, falls asleep while smoking and dreams about a public-service announcement about a fire and the dangers of cigarettes. The dream sequence has some inventive ways to reinforce the fact that smoking is bad, with metaphoric representations of its monetary, hygienic, and health costs, and the pervasive cultural pressure to light up is fairly well illustrated. It's all considerably over-the-top, including absurdly unrealistic dialogue chock-full of statistics unlikely to change any minds. Brown has made a career out of detailed and realistic diagrams of superhero props and weapons; his character work here is much less sure-handed, especially in the more fanciful visuals. However, any success he may have had is significantly undercut by the computer coloring, which is garish and artificial and removes any possibility of aesthetic appeal. The volume closes with eight pages of facts, quizzes, and related URLs. Well-meaning, factually sound, oddly fanciful, and utterly fruitless, this book will likely reach no one.—Benjamin Russell, Belmont High School, NH
Kirkus Reviews
In a graphic novelette that wears its agenda on both sleeves and on every other garment, a young Latina mother moves through clouds of dialogue balloons filled with anti-smoking arguments. Blowing off pleas to stop lighting up by her baby's father, her widowed mother and the television, Maria falls asleep with a cigarette in her hand. She wakes to a dream world in which she has burned down her house, meets her repentant father in the hospital ("If I'd only realized that the only gift I was leaving you was asthma and a dirty habit…") and is whisked off with a pregnant fellow patient to a confrontation with the witchy, bitchy--and, in Brown's garishly colored, crudely drawn cartoons, hideously thin--head of the "Tarburro" corporation. She gloats: "Lovely, young parent smokers! Your children are my children!" For readers who aren't already browbeaten into insensibility by the barrage of information, Jaime caps the episode with seven pages of statistics (mislabeled "Factoids"), websites and quiz questions. Maria wakes at the end in a singed easy chair and resolves to quit cold turkey. The target audience, having certainly been exposed to similar anti-smoking screeds already, is unlikely to follow suit. (Graphic novel. 12-16)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781935826200
Publisher:
Hohm Press
Publication date:
06/28/2012
Pages:
36
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.10(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

From a dream sequence:

SIGN ABOVE DOUBLE DOORS READS: 'NICANTEEN'

FATHER PULLS MARIA'S CHAIR UP TO A TABLE

FATHER: Here we are. The food's not bad, but stay away from the drinks. I'll be right back. I have to check on something.

CLOSE UP OF TABLE, MENU ON IT'S SIDE PLACED BETWEEN SALT AND SUGAR SHAKERS, A SEPARATE LEATHERBOUND DRINKS MENU READS: 'TOXICTAILS'

CLOSE UP OF DRINKS MENU HELD OPEN IN MARIA'S HANDS.
Toxictails

Our exotic drinks are made from a selection of over 4,000 toxic chemicals, around 50 of which cause cancer. All of these can be found in the average cigarette.

Top Sellers
Acetone - Nail polish remover
Ammonia - Toilet cleaner
Arsenic - Rat poison
Carbon Monoxide - Car exhaust
DDT - Insect killer
Formaldehyde - Preservative for dead bodies
Hydrogen Cyanide - Gas chamber poison
Methanol - Rocket fuel
Titanium - metal used to make airplanes

Warning: Consumption in cigarette form limits your ability to smell and taste the delicious food available from our kitchen.

MARIA LOOKS UP QUIZZICALLY FROM MENU

MARIA: What's that horrible smell?

ASKEWED SHOT OF EXCESSIVELY THIN WAITER'S FACE. SALLOW SKIN, SUNKEN FEATURES AND JAUNDICED EYES, HIS SMILE REVEALING GROTESQUE TEETH.

WAITER: Would you like to start with a drink?

MARIA BOLTS AWAY FROM THE TABLE, GUARDING HER FACE FROM THE SMELL OF HIM.

MARIA: I um…no thanks…I was just waiting for someone.

WIDER ANGLE OF WAITER REVEALS A WILTED FLOWER ON HIS LAPEL. HE IS LOOKING DISAPPOINTED.

WAITER: Are you sure?

MARIA TURNS AWAY, HEADED FOR DOOR, LEAVING WAITER STANDING AT TABLE IN CAR SALESMAN POSE

WAITER: Helps you stay thin.

LONG SHOT OF WAITER STANDING IN DOORWAY WAVING AT THE END OF HALLWAY

WAITER:
Come again soon!

Meet the Author

Mexican American writer, musician, painter & entrepreneur, grew up in San Jose, CA, now lives in London with his wife. He wrote his first "book” at age 8. In college, using an old photocopier, he created booklets from his drawings & random musings. He's started 2 businesses, toured Europe with a blues band, composed & recorded on 11 albums of rock music, performed at Renaissance Festivals, & acted in 6 theatre productions. His painting & photography work is currently exhibited in London. Baby Don't Smoke reflects his quirky & compassionate dedication to kids & teens. See: www.everettjaime.com

Eliot R. Brown is an American comic illustrator, writer, photographer and modeller. He grew up on the mean streets of midtown Manhattan and currently lives in an undisclosed, secure location with his wife, son and the same clothing he's worn for the past 27 years. Brown worked for Marvel Comics as well as being a freelance artist for Marvel, DC and many independents and is best known for his involvement with "The Official Handbook To The Marvel Universe,” "The Punisher Armory,” and "The Iron Manual.” See: www. eliotrbrown.com

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