The King of Kazoo

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  • The King of Kazoo
  • written and illustrated by Norm Feuti
  • published by Graphix/Scholastic (2016)
  • Roar Score: 4/5

I’ll admit it: I was unfamiliar with Norm Feuti before The King of Kazoo arrived at my door. But fewer than 10 pages in and I was a fan. With this book, Feuti has created something that is both familiar and fresh.

King Cornelius (the titular king of the land of Kazoo) is a bit of an idiot. He came into his position and inherited a country at peace, and he hasn’t yet had a chance to earn an epithet (like those that came before him, such as Founder of the City, Defender of the Realm, or Simplifier of the Taxes).

Cornelius spends his days “thinking kingly thoughts” and suggesting inane solutions to non-problems. In short, he’s pretty much a joke.

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Raina Telgemeier’s Ghosts

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  • Ghosts
  • written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
  • published by Graphix/Scholastic (2016)
  • Roar Score: 5/5

Raina Telgemeier is back with her fourth original graphic novel, and we’re all the richer for it. This week marks the release of Ghosts, and in it she explores the nature of family and friendship against a backdrop of self-discovery and the Mexican Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) holiday.

It’s easy to forget that Raina’s first original book, Smile, came out as recently as 2010. That’s because the effect she’s had makes it hard to remember what graphic novels were like beforehand. Really, it’s hard to recall what the publishing industry in general was like.

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Dream Jumper #1: Nightmare Escape

DreamJumper

  • Dream Jumper: Nightmare Escape
  • written by Greg Grunberg & Lucas Turnbloom
  • illustrated by Lucas Turnbloom
  • colored by Guy Major
  • published by Scholastic/Graphix (2016)
  • Roar Score: 4/5

Scholastic’s Graphix imprint has long been home to some of the best “all-ages” graphic novels put out by a traditional book publisher. Graphix actually hit the ground running and got its start with the color editions of Jeff Smith’s groundbreaking Bone series, and they haven’t looked back.

They’ve since become a wellspring of fantastic, kid-friendly graphic novels, publishing books such as Kazu Kibuishi’s Amulet series, Mike Maihack’s Cleopatra in Space series, all of Raina Telgemeier’s books, and so many more. Seriously, I challenge you to find a Graphix book that isn’t stunning.

Dream Jumper is one of their newest titles, and it’s definitely off to a promising start with the first book in the planned series, Nightmare Escape.

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Questions from a Kid: Jennifer Holm

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(previous interviews in this series can be found here.)

Welcome to another installment of Questions From a Kid. Today, Zoey chats with author Jennifer Holm.

Zoey first became aware of Jennifer through Sunny Side Up, a recent graphic novel from Scholastic/Graphix that tells the story of Sunny Lewin, a young girl who spends the summer of 1976 with her grandfather in Florida. Jennifer worked on the book with her younger brother, Matthew Holm, who did the art.

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5 Questions with Kazu Kibuishi

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(previous interviews in this series can be found here.)

Welcome to another installment of 5 Questions with a 5-Year-Old. Today, Zoey chats with Kazu Kibuishi: artist, author, and creator of the Amulet series of graphic novels.

Not since Bone was Zoey so immediately taken with a book and its world. Almost instantly, she attached to 12-year-old Emily and her adventure. This really shouldn’t come as a surprise. If you’ve read any of the Amulet books, you already know that it’s a gripping story that’s superbly written and breathtakingly illustrated.

It’s not often I hear audible gasps and genuine surprise and concern when reading comics and graphic novels to her. Amulet, however, leaves her breathless. We read through the first book in a single sitting, and there was no looking back.

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5 Questions with Mike Maihack

MikeMaihack

(previous interviews in this series can be found here.)

Welcome to another installment of 5 Questions with a 5-Year-Old. Today, Zoey chats with Mike Maihack, writer and artist of Cleopatra in Space from Graphix/Scholastic.

If you’re interested in Cleopatra in Space, you’ll definitely want to read our review of the first book: Target Practice. In short, you don’t want to miss this one. It’s fantastic.

A strong, spunky female protagonist. A sci-fi setting with historical flavoring. A good Indiana Jones style adventure. And a whole range of emotions–both expressed by the characters and elicited in the reader. What’s not to love?

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5 Questions with Frank Cammuso

FrankCammuso

(previous interviews in this series can be found here.)

Welcome to another installment of 5 Questions with a 5-Year-Old. Today, Zoey chats with Frank Cammuso.

Zoey is most familiar with Frank from his work writing and illustrating the The Misadventures of Salem Hyde series (Amulet Books) and the Otto series (Toon Books). But Frank has also created the Knights of the Lunch Table and Max Hamm: Fairy Tale Detective series (Graphix/Scholastic and Nite Owl Comix, respectively).

In short, he’s a kids comics powerhouse.

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