There's nothing like girl power mixed with graphic novels to kickstart a return to blogging!
First Second has long been one of my favorite graphic novel publishers, so when they asked if I wanted to be part of a special tour highlighting girl power graphic novels, I couldn't say no. They have some great new releases and some older favorites that you must add to your collection if you have graphic novel fans at your library-or at home.
I first read Giants Beware! when it came out a few years ago and I loved it!
My original review from 2012:
About the Book: Claudette dreams of being a giant slayer. But her village has no threats from giants since a giant slayer years ago. Claudette doesn't believe the stories though and she believes it's her duty to find and slay the giant that lives beyond her city. Along with her best friend Marie (an aspiring princess) and her brother Gaston (a pastry chef in the making), Claudette sets out on a fantastical journey to slay the giant and become a hero-so giants beware!!
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: If your library tweens are anything like mine, they are always asking for the graphic novel series Bone. Giants Beware is the perfect graphic novel to hand over to those readers who like humor mixed into their adventure fantasy. It reminded me of Bone crossed with The Princess Bride with a touch of the adventure from Amulet.
The full color illustrations make this graphic novel fun to read. There is a lot of detail in the artwork, which I always enjoy and I felt as though I really got to know the characters. Claudette is strong and very spunky-she will get her way no matter what! She's a bit selfish and thinks of herself first, but she learns the importance of her friendship with Marie and Gaston along the way. And how could you not love Gaston and Marie? They both have dreams that might seem silly to anyone else, but they fully believe they can make them come true and you can't help but cheer them on. The three together make a delightful group that you would want to tag along with you on any adventure.
The supporting characters all felt fleshed out-from the townsfolk to Claudette and Gaston's father-each character was fully realized, even if they only appeared briefly. In many ways this graphic novel read like an animated film-the illustrations, the jokes, the characters-all could transition easily to the big screen which could make a nice selling point to readers.
Add this one to your graphic novel collection and I'm sure it will fly off your library shelf. While the story wraps up, there are some loose ends that leave a possibility of a sequel (or several) featuring Claudette, Marie and Gaston and I'm really hoping this isn't the last we've seen of them!
Book Pairings: How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell Bone by Jeff Smith, Amulet by Kazu Kabuishi
In my review, I had mentioned how much I had hoped there would be more to this series and I'm thrilled to say there are more! Dragons Beware! and Monsters Beware! are hilarious adventures featuring these memorable and lovable characters. If your library is anything like mine and you can't keep graphic novels for middle grade on the shelf, you have to tell kids about these books-and I think you can even sell adults on them with the Bone mixed with The Princess Bride feel. My four-year-old was so interested in the covers he wanted to read them all. We made it through a few panels, mostly to look at all the bad guys, and he loved the art. I'm looking forward to when he's older and I share these awesome stories of standing up for yourself, being who you are, and girl power.