Scary Godmother by Jill Thompson – Book #12 in the Countdown to Halloween

Hello, hello, hello! Just 13 more days to Halloween! Hey! That means Family Channel will be running some good shows and movies soon! Better set my DVR!

For this entry I have selected a fabulous graphic novel by Jill Thompson which includes my all time favorite set of characters ever created. Scary Godmother is a collection of four stories that have previously been published as separate graphic novels. Jill Thompson has collected them all together in this fabulous book and also included some fun additional information about how she breathed life into her characters and the world that they live in.

Scary Godmother by Jill Thompson

All the stories in this book center around little Hannah Marie. In the first story we are introduced to this adorable child who is excited to go out trick-or-treating with the big kids and no parents. This is the first time ever she has been allowed to do this. Hannah, however, is a bit afraid of the possible ghosts and monsters that she may encounter. Her mother reassures her that her Scary Godmother will make sure that nothing happens to her.

And indeed, that is what happens. Hannah’s mean older cousin, Jimmy, decides he doesn’t want to play babysitter and attempts to scare little Hannah to get her to return home. Jimmy wants to gather as much candy with his friends as he can, and Hannah is slowly them down (at least in Jimmy’s eyes). Just as brave little Hannah can take no more, POOF, her Scary Godmother appears. From that point on Hannah is not afraid of any of the monsters, ghosts, skeletons or vampires of Halloween. In fact, Hannah and her new friends teach the big kids a lesson. Each subsequent story includes yet another installment in Hannah’s involvement with the goofy and loveable monsters of the Fright Side and explores what life is like for the monster’s as they wait for the next year’s Halloween.
The illustrations in this novel are fantastic as should be expected in a graphic novel. From the Scary Godmother, to Boozle (Scary Godmother’s ghost cat), to Bug-A-Boo (the monster under the bed), to Skully Pettibone (the skeleton in the closet) each character is unique, detailed, and perfectly fitted in the roles that they play. Jill Thompson does a amazing job in showing the evolution of all the characters over the years.
The text and the graphics are well mixed. This is really a chapter book, a lot of the writing is shown in between the graphic images. It is not set up like a “comic strip,” but like a picture book that happens to have a good amount of text within the pictures. For younger children not yet familiar with the “cadence” of reading a comic book, this may be very helpful. Also, the inclusion at the end of fun facts and insights from Jill Thompson about her creations is fun for adults to read and for showing how a graphic novel is made.It educates children on how one would go about making a graphic novel and the labor of love that Jill Thompson produced.
An awesome read for those late elementary/early middle schoolers as well as high schoolers and those adults who refuse to grow up. It’s also a great book to use for those who tell you “I hate to read.” No one will hate reading this graphic novel. I fell in love with the cast of characters after the first ten pages, and I know you will too.
Quick Facts:
Author/Illustrator: Jill Thompson
Ages: 3rd grade and up
Series: You can purchase each graphic novel in this collection separately. “Scary Godmother” has also been made into two DVD movies (that are often shown on Nickelodeon during the Halloween season). Jill Thompson also has a number of individuals comics out about different characters from the Scary Godmother series as well as a separate series about “Magic Trixie” that would be good for the same age range.
Publisher: Dark Horse Books a Division of Dark Horse Comics, Milwaukie, Oregon

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