Written & Illustrated by: Cece Bell
Color by: David Lasky
Published in 2014
Genre: Graphic Novel, Humor, Autobiography
Grade Level: 2-6
Newbery Honor Book 2015
Eisner Award for Best Publication for Kids (ages 8-12) 2015
Summary: El Deafo is a autobiographical memoir of the author’s experiences growing up deaf, including the imaginary superhero she created to fight her battles. Cece was born hearing, but became deaf at age four after an illness. The book tells the story of the struggles she faced, the friends she made (and lost), and the “super powers” she gained with the use of her Phonic Ear.
Written by: Martin Jenkins
Illustrated by: Sue Shields
Published in 1997
Grade Level: K-3
Summary: Chameleons Are Cool was written by Martin Jenkins, a conservation biologist who first encountered wild chameleons while in Madagascar. The book talks about chameleons and their traits, describing them as “pocket-sized, bad-tempered, color-changing, swivel-eyed, snail-paced, long-tongued sharpshooters.”
Written & Illustrated by: Dan Andreasen
Published in 2007
Genre: Biography, Historical Fiction (this story is based on the real life of Martin Van Buren Bates)
Grade Level: K-3
Summary: The Giant of Seville is a “tall” tale based on a true story. Captain Martin Van Buren Bates was a real giant who lived during the 19th century. This book tells the story of his arrival in Seville, Ohio as he searches for a new home.
Written by: Camilla de la Bedoyere
Consultant: Steve Parker
Published in 2008
Grade Level: 3-6
Summary: 100 Things You Should Know About Nocturnal Animals is a fascinating book about nocturnal animals and their habits. Each set of facing pages has a theme (such as “Light at night” and “Whoo’s there?”) and three to five facts about the topic. Mini quizzes and activities are also included throughout the book, and beautiful photographs and illustrations complete the package.
Written & Illustrated by: Don Brown
Published in 2010
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography
Grade Level: 2-4
Summary: A Wizard from the Start tells the story of Thomas Edison, the famous inventor who boasted 1,093 patents throughout his lifetime. This book covers Edison’s story, from childhood to his adult years, highlighting the education he received and some of his well-known inventions.
Written & Illustrated by: Marcia Williams
Published in 2005
Genre: Nonfiction, Picture Book
Grade Level: 3-5
Summary: Hooray for Inventors! presents information on over 100 inventors in comic book format. Marcia Williams tells the stories of several famous inventors, and highlights the inventions of many lesser known inventors as well.
Cover: The cover on this book was really interesting to me. It’s bright and colorful, and the illustrations are really attention catching. I was looking for an informational book to review, and the cover of this book made it pop out to me.
Illustrations: Taken individually, the illustrations in this book are fantastic. The comic book style is interesting and is certain to grab the attention of students, particularly boys who enjoy comic books. (Not to say that girls don’t like comic books too. I for one loved manga and graphic novels when I was growing up!) Unfortunately, the pages in this book are way too busy with the comic strips, text, and animals talking in the margins.
There is so much going on that it’s difficult to focus on just one thing. I had to come up with a system of what to look at (text first, then comics, then margin animals) just to get through each page.