Stone Arch Books' new "My 1st Graphic Novel" series focuses on teaching kids how to read graphic novels using high-interest topics. This book tells the story of Ethan and his missing Monster Card. Ethan and his pal Zack love Monster Cards, and they spend hours playing with them. When Ethan buys a new pack of Monster Cards and discovers he has the very best Monster Card of all, he can't wait to show Zack. But when he gets to Zack's house and reaches into his pocket, Ethan discovers that his new card isn't there. Ethan and Zack retrace his steps, trying to determine where he lost his card. But they have no luck. Finally, they give up. Then Ethan picks up his jacket to go back to Zack's house, and the card falls out. He remembers that he wore a brown jacket to the store and his blue jacket to Zack's house. The card was in his brown jacket, safe at home, all along. This book operates on the premise that readers need to be taught how to read a graphic novel, apparently assuming that its readers have never read comic books before. Detailed, illustrated, numbered instructions for how to read a graphic novel are included in the front of the book. It includes discussion questions, a glossary and writing prompts about the plot. What is not included—and what would have been both interesting and more relevant—are an explanation and example of how graphic novels are created, as well as how and why they are different from standard, illustrated books. Reviewer: Lauri Berkenkamp
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—In Clues in the Attic, siblings Ben and Sofia investigate strange noises that they hear coming from above them. In The Missing Monster Card, Ethan misplaces a valuable trading card. Kids who pay close attention to the images can easily solve the mystery. These titles provide effective early-reader equivalents to comics and graphic novels. Their traditional beginning-reader trim size as well as bold and brightly colored illustrations are appealing to novice readers, while the inclusion of a "How to Read a Graphic Novel" section, a glossary, discussion questions, and writing prompts will appeal to parents and teachers. The texts include simple sentences that closely match the art, while panels are limited to a maximum of four per page. Good fun for early graphic-novel readers.—Kim T. Ha, Elkridge Branch Library, MD
Lori Mortensen is a multi-published children’s author who writes fiction and nonfiction on all sorts of subjects. When she’s not plunking away at the keyboard, she enjoys making cheesy bread rolls, gardening, and hanging out with her family at their home in northern California.
Originally a student of political science, artist Remy
Simard began his career as an illustrator in 1980. Today he creates computer-generated illustrations for a large variety of clients. He has also written and illustrated more than 30 children's books in both French and English,
including Monsieur Noir et Blanc, a finalist for Canada's
Governor's Prize. To relax, Remy likes to race around on his motorcycle. Remy resides in Montreal with his two sons and a cat named Billy.