November 28, 2009

A Trio of Cybils Nominees

Joey Fly Private Eye in Creepy Crawly Crime by Aaron Reynolds. illustrated by Neil Numberman. 2009. Age 8+. - This is a wonderful crime noire in graphic novel format. Taking place in the Bug City all the characters are various insects and arachnids. Joey Fly is a Private Eye (da da daaaa) and Sammy Stingtail (a scorpion) is his sidekick. Written in classic thirties private eye style, "It was a muggy summer day when he walked through my door. Right away, I thought he looked like trouble. I was right.", the book is a pure joy to read. The crime is a fun one to keep kids guessing and following the clues and there is plenty of humour. Most of the art is done in dark blue & white to give that old noire feeling but other colour palettes show up as well to add variety. A lot of fun and definitely a winner! Loved it! 5/5

The Incredible Rockhead by Scott Nickel. illustrated by C.S. Jennings. 2009. Age 8+ - I'm a big fan of Stone Arch Press books but have to say I finally found one that I didn't like. Chip, as geeky as a geek can get, is turned into Rockhead, a supposed superhero. Basically his head turns into a rock and he has a hard time standing up, give him a push and he can smash into things. Anyway, he saves the kids at the zoo from escaped dangerous animals by smashing into them?! I'm as far away from a tree hugger as you can get but even to me piles of dazed animals who have been smashed into isn't my idea of fun or a superhero. Don't bother. 1/5

The Emperor's New Clothes by Stephanie True Peters. illustrated by Jeffrey Stewart Timmins. 2009. Age 7+ - I'm a big fan of this fairy tale series by Stone Arch Press. I've already reviewed both Rapunzel and Three Little Pigs and hope to read the rest of them with my son. The story remains quite true to the original excepting that the emperor is in his underwear instead of being naked and there's a fun twist with the ending. The artwork is bright and bold with wonderful eccentric figures. The artist appears to have done the foreground figures on watercolour paper with the backgrounds done in some other method. Not my favourite in this series but still a great fun book. 3.5/5


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