I’ve been writing about graphic novels all week, but I have one more perfect for elementary students that I really want to mention before I move on…
Babymouse, Vol. 7: Skater Girl! This is a super-cute, super-pink graphic novel series following the daily trials of Babymouse, a school-aged girl mouse whose life never quite works out like it does in her dreams. Her whiskers are curly instead of straight. She has an annoying little brother, lots of homework, and a stuck locker. Then there’s her personal nemesis, the very popular Felicia Furrypaws. The books contrast her dreams, set off by a pink background, with her real life, black and white with the occasional splash of pink.
Also published in September is Newbery Honor winner Shannon Hale’s latest title Book of a Thousand Days. A retelling of an obscure Grimms’ fairy tale, this is the story of Dashti, a peasant maid, and her mistress, Lady Saren. They have been bricked into a tower for years because Lady Saren has refused to marry a man she both hates and fears. As she tries to cope with her temperamental mistress and find a way for them to escape, Dashti ends up falling in love with another of Lady Saren’s suitors, and it is this entanglement that will cause all three the great heartbreak, danger, and hope. I fell fully under the spell of this young adult fairy tale, like I hadn’t done for Hale’s books since Goose Girl.
Another book I grabbed as soon as it came in was Helen Keller: Her Life in Pictures by George Sullivan. Filled with large, black and white images, most rarely seen, this book chronicles Helen’s life, from childhood to her last years. It was fascinating to see all these pictures of a woman I’d read so much about and even seen movies on, but had never really seen. This book complements the many biographies out there on Helen Keller, providing images to go with the words, something Helen herself never had. My one quibble is that I occasionally wish the pictures were better labeled, but I enjoyed it nonetheless, and students from mid-elementary age on up, teachers, and librarians will too.