The Bramble

The Bramble

4.0 1
by Lee Nordling, Bruce Zick
     
 

In this beautifully illustrated and mostly wordless book, Cameron isn't small, but he's not exactly big. He's not slow, but he's also not quick. He wants friends, but it never quite seems to work out. And in a game of tag, he's going to end up "it." Or at least that's how things are on this side of the Bramble. On the other side, it's a different

Overview

In this beautifully illustrated and mostly wordless book, Cameron isn't small, but he's not exactly big. He's not slow, but he's also not quick. He wants friends, but it never quite seems to work out. And in a game of tag, he's going to end up "it." Or at least that's how things are on this side of the Bramble. On the other side, it's a different story. On the other side of the Bramble, something extraordinary can happen, something that changes everything.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Nordling, a veteran of the comics industry, produces a fast-paced, largely wordless story that might end on a note of menace—or might not. The neighborhood kids scorn small, pokey Cameron when he plays tag with them. In need of solace, the boy explores a deep, thorny tunnel and emerges into a community of monsters whose lumpy bodies, big eyes, and striped horns make them look a lot like Wild Things. Zick, an artist who has worked in comics and film, draws storyboard-style panels in shadowy hues that evoke deeply tangled forest thickets and occasionally make the action hard to decode. When Cameron first arrives, a hedgehoglike creature saves him from a huge wave that’s terrorizing the Bramble, and they forge a cozy friendship. Cameron defeats the wave when it reappears by messing with its mind: “Tag,” he tells the wave, dodging and feinting. “You’re it.” Returning home, Cameron wows the kids who scorned him, but a hulking monster with sharp claws is seen lurking as Cameron celebrates—and the story ends there. An unsettling story about coming into one’s own. Ages 5�9. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
In this almost textless graphic narrative, a young boy tries to join a group of kids by playing Tag. But soon they all say, "You're it!" and run away. While he is sitting alone by a hole in some bramble bushes, a strange creature emerges and gives him a magic necklace. He enters a wild place, where he is menaced by a huge wave and then joined by the creature. Together they encounter a happy gathering of more odd creatures. The huge wave returns, but our hero tags it and it goes away, to the joy of all. The boy then goes back through the bramble. His next encounter with the group of kids has a very different ending. The story is visualized like a movie storyboard, in many small boxes, using only a few intense colors, mainly tan for outside the bramble and deep blue with a purple wave inside. To generate the action and emotion, the illustrations are created with detailed drawings and transparent color. There is a suggestion of Sendak's Wild Things, but our young hero is depicted in youthful naturalism. Do not miss the tangled brambles in the contrasting front and back end pages. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Kirkus Reviews
In this heartfelt tale, a boy's encounter with a fantasy world allows him to find acceptance in the real one. When Cameron tries to join in a game of tag, he's bullied and teased. The illustrations, done in a comic-book format with multiple panels, heartbreakingly display the boy's feelings of rejection and loneliness. But when a creature from the bramble leaves an amulet behind, Cameron--like Alice with the White Rabbit--follows the creature through a dark hole. He emerges into a world where an ominous wave brings terror to all the creatures. Despite this, they welcome and befriend him, and when the wave reappears, Cameron bravely faces it. A game of tag defeats the wave, releasing long-lost creatures back to beloved family and friends. Nordling and Zick's metaphor becomes clear as Cameron returns to reality and finds the courage to challenge the bully to another game of tag. The wave and the bully are one and the same, striking fear into those around, overpowering--even distorting and removing--people's kindness and friendship. But this time, Cameron is victorious, and the boy accepts him into the group. The artist's energetic pencil illustrations skillfully create atmospheric environments and intriguing creatures. Different tints are used to indicate the two sides of the bramble, but both worlds are filled with texture and detail. This nearly wordless tale offers much for readers to discuss and interpret, as the power of the individual to make a negative or positive impact in the world is explored. A good addition to the overcoming-bullies bookshelf. (Picture book. 3-5)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780761358565
Publisher:
Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/01/2013
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.50(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Lee Nordling is a writer, editor, and creative director, who worked on staff at Disney Publishing, DC Comics, and Nickelodeon Magazine. He was lead writer for Disney's Aladdin, published by Marvel Comics, and is the author of Your Career in the Comics. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, Cheri, and a menagerie of pets. Bruce Zick has worked as a concept artist for Pixar, Dreamworks, Disney, and Blue Sky on films as Hercules, Tarzan, Rapunzel, Tinkerbell, Prince of Egypt, Finding Nemo, WALL-E, and The Leaf Men. He is also the writer and artist of The Anubis Tapestry. He lives in Oregon with his wife, Anja, and their daughter, Isabella.

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The Bramble 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
book4children More than 1 year ago
This is an almost wordless picture book and kind of a graphic novel at the same time. It's about a boy learning to overcome his fears and insecurities. I read this with my kids and they really enjoyed the story and the illustrations. I loved the artwork, and even though the story was just so-so for me, the main weight of the book lies with the art. So I gave it a nice, solid 4 stars.