Rummanah Aasi
 I'm still trying to find my way around the graphic novel and manga canon. I've come to realize that I need to read more graphic novels and manga for children. I jotted down a few title recommendations from fellow colleagues and websites such as The Graphic Novel Reporter and the No Flying No Tights website that I frequently visit to find out the latest titles.
 I finished reading Adventures in Cartooning, which is the graphic novel found on the Bluestem reading list, I'm glad to see graphic novels on the list and hope many more will be included.

Description (from Goodreads): Once upon a time . . . a princess tried to make a comic.  And with the help of a magical cartooning elf, she learned how – well enough to draw her way out of an encounter with a dangerous dragon, near-death by drowning, and into her very own adventure!  Like the princess, young readers will discover that they already have the drawing and writing skills it takes to make a comic – they just need a little know-how.  And Adventures in Cartooning supplies just that.

Review: Adventures in Cartooning is an insightful and enjoyable way for anyone learning how a graphic novel is created. In fairy-tale story telling fashion, the Magic Cartooning Elf helps a young princess with writer's block create her first comic. A story-within-a-story emerges, and the princess creates a deceptively silly tale of a knight, a dragon, a whale and a horse that loves candy. Along the way, the Elf drops informative hints to the reader about the structure of the story, introducing basic elements of cartooning and rudimentary techniques and how these elements effect the story.
 On the surface Adventures in Cartooning seems very simplistic, but it's simplicity is its strongest asset in teaching aspiring young artists. I loved that there is story with a plot twist in the book which hold even the youngest reader's attention. The "how to" tips don't overwhelm the fairy tale and aren't forced but only pop up when they are relevant to the cartoon. Simple cartooning basics offered after the story are quite appealing. Even the most reluctant artist, such as myself who really can't draw anything besides stick figures, may be inspired to pick up a pencil and give it a shot. Entertaining and educational fun for all ages.

Curriculum Connection: Art and English/Reading

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: None. Great for all ages.

If you like this book try: Adventures in Cartooning Activity Book by James Sturm, Andrew Arnold, Alexis Frederick-Frost or Art for Kids: Cartooning by Art Roche
8 Responses
  1. This would be fun. I think I'd rather read a non=fiction about this than a fairy-tale about writing a comic, but this sounds cute. What age is it aimed for?

  2. Alison: Huh, I actually liked that it was fiction. I don't know how this would have worked as nonfiction only. I'd say its targeted audience is for Grades K and up.

  3. Who doesn't love Cartoons! I'm putting this one on my wishlist for my little cousins as possible X-mas gifts. LOL

    Thanks, Rummanah! Hope you had a nice and relaxing weekend. :)

  4. Jennifer Says:

    I've not seen this before but it looks awesome. I'm totally looking into it tomorrow for our school library. Graphic novels and manga are hugely popular at our school.

  5. MZMollyTL Says:

    It's a neat fiction/non-fiction hybrid that is both entertainment and educational. It's one of my favourites. Glad you've discovered it, Rum!

  6. This one does sound simplistic but I like how you pointed out that that's its greatest strength. My brother likes to draw so I'd probably consider this one if it wasn't princess related. Can you recommend something like this for boys?

  7. Missie: Your welcome!

    Jennifer: I'm glad I discovered and read it. I think your students would like it a lot.

    MZMolly: I love how you could use this book in a variety of ways.

    CandianGirl: Have you tried the How to Draw books by Dan Green or the Art of Cartooning by Roche?

  8. No, but I'll take a look at them. Thanks, Rummanah!

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