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In the stacks: New graphic novels

Posted: November 1, 2012 - 12:06am

Look for new graphic novels for kids on the New Books shelves at each public library; browse for older kid-worthy graphic novels in the 741.59s.

“Zig and Wikki in Something Ate My Homework,” by Nadja Spiegelman and Trade Loeffler.

Alien pals Zig and Wikki are headed to Zig’s grandmother’s planet when Zig’s teacher calls to remind him that his homework is late. Luckily, the two have taken a wrong turn and find themselves on Earth where there are plenty of strange animals practically begging to be brought back as class pets. Here’s where Wikki’s special skills come in handy: as they spot each new animal, his screen-like body lights up with information about it. That’s how Zig discovers that the fly walking on his candy bar is tasting it with its feet! They don’t have any luck catching the fly, nor can they manage the frog or raccoon they come across, but they do get away alive! And, back at their ship, they find a little surprise waiting for them. This primary-reader level graphic novel is short, sweet, and catchy – keep an eye out for more from Zig and Wikki.

“The Biggest, Bestest Time Ever!” by Stephen McCranie.

Mal is a smart kid — so smart that he’s realized that if anyone knows exactly what he’s capable of, he’ll probably end up in college and have all his time taken up with schoolwork. Even though everyone at school thinks he’s a dork, Mal doesn’t really care (though he does wish that the girl he likes would at least share a cookie with him) and is perfectly happy to work on his own projects along with his talking dog, Chad. What projects? Well, there’s the rocket ship they’re building out behind the house. And the mini-mega-morpher that lets them swim in the kitchen sink. Oh, and the elevator that Mal’s turned into a time machine. But as far as Chad is concerned, his most important invention may be yum sauce. Lots of action, no gore or violence, fantastic characters, good running gags, and energetic drawings make this a great title for early elementary school readers and older kids, too!

“Sidekicks,” by Dan Santat.

Aging Captain Amazing can barely keep up with the criminals, let alone what his pets are doing while they’re left to themselves at home. He needs a sidekick! And since his dog, cat, hamster, and chameleon have been keeping busy developing super powers of their own, they each decide to audition for the part. Will Captain Amazing recognize them if they are disguised? Which one of them will win one-on-one time with their beloved master? It’s nearly war at home before the pets realize they make a great team. And when disaster strikes and Captain Amazing loses his powers, Shifty, Fluffy, Manny, and Roscoe are the only superheroes who can save him. Older elementary and middle school readers will get the biggest kick out of this polished full-color graphic novel.

“Thor, the Mighty Avenger,” by Roger Langridge, Chris Samnee, and Matthew Wilson.

Kids and adults who are new to Thor’s world will find this a fairly accessible beginning. When Thor is cast out of Asgard, he lands in Midgard (our Earth) where he meets Jane, the newly-promoted head of the museum that just happens to contain Mjolnir, Thor’s enormous hammer. Thor and Jane become friends and temporary roommates, and, even though Jane could do without Thor’s eagerness for battle, she appreciates his protection when the monstrous Mr. Hyde come to call. As seen here, Thor is a lot of fun – a big, somewhat goofy guy with a strong sense of honor who delights in beating up ne’er-do- wells. This is humorously told in full-color classic Marvel-style and will probably appeal most to middle and high school readers.

“Teen Boat!” by Dave Roman and John Green.

This tongue-in-cheek graphic novel is full of puns and visual word play – starting right off with its subject, a high school kid called Teen Boat. Why? Because he’s got the angst of being a teen and the thrill of being a yacht. If this thought makes you grin, this may be the book for you. Over the course of several stories, readers meet Teen, his best friend Joey, the cute foreign exchange student Nina Pinta Santa Maria, and the other kids in school. In the first story Teen gets invited to a party where he’s the main attraction, gets boarded by pirates, strikes an iceberg, and nearly gets arrested by the Coast Guard for illegal gambling. Later stories feature other goofy adventures, including the story of how he masters his fear of accelerated movement on land and finally gets his drivers’ license, and how he falls in love with a lovely gondola while in Venice. Full-color drawings and crazy premises will draw middle and high school readers.

• For information about upcoming programs, or to place a hold, visit www.juneau.org/library or call 586-5249.

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