Today I have a three in one for you!
The Three Little Pigs retold by Lisa Trumbauer, illustrated by Aaron Blecha. (Jan. 2009) (33pgs) received a review copy from the publisher. - This graphic novel is label reading level 1, though I do say it is a but harder than that but nevertheless my son had no problems reading this out loud to me. The story keeps true to the traditional tale we are all familiar with with no watering down and tiny little twist at the end that is very clever. The illustrations are wonderful and creepy. You honestly have to give this book a read once you've had a look at the illustrations. Ds looked forward to reading it everyday. We have another in this Fairy Tale series and I've noticed my library has quite a few on the shelves as well, so we'll certainly be back for more of these. 5/5
192. Dragonbreath by Ursula Vernon (jun. 11, 2009) (153pgs) Cybils nominee. Borrowed from my library. - Dragonbreath is a graphic novel-text hybrid. While the majority of the book is written in text, every so often it will venture off into anywhere from a single page to several pages of graphic novel format which are interwoven right into the story. An interesting use of the graphic novel format which makes the book read quickly. Dragonbreath is the only dragon in his reptile and amphibian school and he has yet to learn how to breath fire but that's not his only problem. He hates doing schoolwork and after receiving an F on a made-up report about the ocean he goes to visit his cousin a sea serpent who takes him on a journey beneath the sea where he has many adventures along with his iguana friend Wendell. Armed with this information he is able to re-write a much better report.
A cute little story; the illustrations are very cute and will appeal immediately to readers. The faces are very expressive. I think kids will certainly relate to the characters and have fun with the adventures. Personally, I found the story cute but not anything special. I'm capable of enjoying a just plain fun story but this lacked the element of that something special for me. If your child is attracted to the book go ahead and buy it for them but I wouldn't go out of my way to choose it for a child to read. 3/5
193. Escape North! The Story of Harriet Tubman by Monica Kulling, illustrated by Teresa Flavin. (2000) (48pgs) read as part of our history curriculum - An easy reader chapter book briefly tells the story of Harriet Tubman's life and her heroic deeds to save other slaves by bringing them to Canada and later on her part in the Civil War. A good majority of the book is spent on her life as a child, and life before she escaped slavery so children can get to know her as a person first before they learn she is a hero. My only quibble is that the whole Canadian connection is skipped. The word Canada appears once in the book "take the group on to Canada". 3/5
Fortunately we live very close to where she lived in Canada and were able to visit the church where Tubman brought the slaves on (I forget whether it was 17 or 19) separate journeys she made down south and back again via the Underground Railroad. The church doesn't have a website but here is a little info site about it.