Easter and It’s Traditions

Check out this blog I wrote for the Manlius Children’s Library about Easter and It’s Traditions.

Easter and It’s Traditions.


Patrick in A Teddy Bear’s Picnic and other stories

Patrick in A Teddy Bear's Picnic and other stories by Geoffrey Hayes

Hello all! So I’ve made a great discovery today, LEVELED GRAPHIC NOVELS!! Toon Books are easy reader graphic novels for those kids that just “can’t get into reading.” They’re fun and easy to read for Kindergarten to Grade 3. In the back of every Toon Book there are tips for parents and teachers on how to read comics for kids as well as how the graphic novels are leveled (three levels broken down by the amount of words, amount of characters, and content). This particular title is Patrick in A Teddy Bear’s Picnic and other stories by Geoffrey Hayes.

Patrick is an adorable little Pre-K Teddy Bear who adores his parents and loves to get into a bit of mischief. There are two longer stories and one short vignette that both parents and children will enjoy reading. Mom’s, in particular, will connect with Patrick’s mother as she deals with an excited kid heading out for a picnic. I love the thunder in her eyes when Patrick runs ahead of her and scares the birds. The “PATRICK!” is something I have heard myself saying to my own child as we were out and about having a fun day.

The drawings are very “Saturday morning cartoon” -esque and the panels are easy for younger readers to follow. They aren’t too convoluted, and the word bubbles and dialogue are obvious. There are very few characters for children to need to remember, and one of the main threads in this story deals with a bully who Patrick ends up outsmarting, a scenario that many children will have to face throughout their school years.

I hope that this will be a new trend in the leveled readers, heading towards a mixture of the older types of readers (Dick and Jane, Fly Guy, Biscuit) and the new graphic novels. This will allow all learning styles to have a book to turn to. Personally, I think this would be a great addition to our children’s repertoire of learning tools.

Quick Facts:

Author: Geoffrey Hayes

Series; Toon Book (three different levels for different ages and reading levels)

Publisher: Candlewick Press, Somerville, Massachusetts

Stickman Odyssey – Book One: An Epic Doodle

Stickman Odyssey Book One: An Epic Doodle by Christopher Ford

So I’ve decided to stay with the adventure GN’s (graphic novels) and decided to check out a book I pretty much figured would be hysterical, Stickman Odyssey Book One: An Epic Doodle by Christopher Ford (who developed two pilots for Comedy Central).

This story (as you can tell from the cover) has a lot of influences from the Ancient Greek myths (particularly Odysseus). It follows self-centered Zozimos as he attempts to find his way back to his homeland of Sticatha (yes, you read that correctly). In the first installment of his tale we learn of Zozimos’ fleeing from his homeland, his upbringing by his crazy uncle, and his first adventures which include Golems, a Sphinx, a magical boat, and a misunderstood hermit.

This story is perfect for those middle school boys who love a good laugh and adventure. Filled with snarky humor, wit, and a couple fart jokes, it is a fun journey to follow. Plus, the fact that it is mostly about stick figures (which is possibly the only thing I can draw) makes it appealing for even those who have no artistic talent. It shows that anyone who can tell a good story can find a way to draw it as well.

I hope you enjoy the humor and zaniness of Zozimos and his friends as much as I did. Once you get past the “boyness” of this title, it really is a great introduction to Greek myths. You can easily pull out three Greek myths (from Oedipus to Odysseus) in this story, which opens the road for more conversations and later reading down the road.

Quick Facts

Author: Christopher Ford

Series: Stickman Odyssey (this is the first installment)

Publisher: Philomel Books, New York, New York

Tower of Treasure

Tower of Treasure by Scott Chantler

Hi all! Hope you’re enjoying life!

So I decided to look at some of my all time favorite items in the library, GRAPHIC NOVELS! I am such a huge fan of juvenile graphic novels (and teen, and adult, pretty much anything with panels and a storyline) that its high time I finally selected some new(er) ones and gave them my once over. Considering I’ve pretty much never found a graphic novel I didn’t like, these should all be positive reviews 😀

To start it off I chose the first book in a series that I’ve been wanting to read since I first scanned the cover. Three Thieves-Book One: Tower of Treasure by Scott Chantler.

This is the introduction to the saga of Dessa, Topper, and Fisk, three performers in a traveling sideshow. Dessa is a young acrobat, she is looking for her twin brother who (we learn) was taken by a strange man who Dessa has very vague memories of. Upon arriving in Kingsbridge, the Royal City, Topper and Fisk decide that they are going to rob the Queen’s gold in the tower. Dessa, who is against any kind of thievery, refuses to help at first, but eventually gets dragged into the scheme. Upon being caught, the three have to fight to escape prison, and Dessa discovers the one man that she has been searching for who can point her in the direction of her long-lost brother.

This GN (graphic novel) is A FANTASTIC introduction to this new saga. It reads quickly and easily and almost feels like a well-directed television show. It’s full of action, mystery, and easy to discern flashbacks and overlay of panels. It does not push the back story like some introductory novels do, but let’s the mystery unfold. You don’t really need to know everything, just yet, about this world. Dessa’s discovery of the man she has been searching for is really the central point, the Tower heist is the backdrop to this discovery. This GN combines adventure, fantasy, mystery, and humor seamlessly. It’s a fantastic story with very fluid illustrations and characters that one will want to learn more about.

I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves adventure, particularly Three Musketeers or Robin Hood type adventures, and for those reluctant readers who “just can’t get into a book.” It’s a series that I’m rooting for and that I hope continues along the same path that this introduction hints at. I can’t wait to read the next installment!

Quick Facts

Author/Illustrator: Scott Chantler

Series: Three Thieves (This is the first book)

Publisher: Kids Can Press Ltd., Tonawanda, New York