Friday, 10 February 2012

Isabella Girl on the Go

Isabella Girl on the Go
Written by Jennifer Fosberry
Illustrated by Mike Litwin
(February 1, 2012) 32 pages

In this beautiful picture book, we spend an amazing day with Isabella. Although Isabella’s journey is just a trip into the backyard with her dad, her imagination takes her around the world. In her imaginings a fence becomes the Great Wall and she becomes a brave warrior.

Following the story of Isabella, the book contains a number of informational pieces. There are descriptions of 8 places that changed the world, and lists of websites about travel destinations. I would pair this book with some non-fiction resources, and help young students to explore places like the Pyramids of Giza and the Great Wall of China.

Jennifer Fosberry has created a wonderful read aloud about the delightful and spirited little Isabella. The charming art by Mike Litwin adds to the appeal of this book where a sphinx grows out of the sandbox and an Eiffel Tower sprouts in the garden. I have difficulty placing an age range on this book, but I will say whether you are an archeologosist or astronomer, artist or warrior, this book is for you.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Hades: Lord of the Dead

Hades: Lord of the Dead
George O'Connor
First Second
(January 31, 2012) 80 pages

This story might be called Hades: Lord of the Dead, but surprisingly, it is really a story about the heroine Persephone. Hades steals Persephone away to the underworld to be his bride. In this re-telling, O’Connor creates a much more rounded character for Persephone than you might have met in other myths. We discover a strong Persephone, who maybe really likes being Queen of the Dead; an independent Persephone, who stands up to her mother and goes to great lengths to get away from her; and an empathetic Persephone, who tries to ease the suffering in the Underworld.

In true Greek style, it is also a tale of woe. In her despair, Demeter abandons her duties and searches endlessly for her daughter Persephone. It is through Demeter’s desolation that we have the creation of the seasons.

I think this is a great read. Greek Mythology fans will enjoy this story, and its graphic novel format will make it accessible for so many more readers. Hades: Lord of the Dead is the fourth in a series of Olympian graphic novels by George O’Connor, and now I can’t wait to go back and read the first three books.