Tag Archives: graphic novel

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks

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Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks, paperback graphic novel, 209 pages, published by Macmillan Children’s Books in 2019.

Deja and Josiah work in a pumpkin patch fun park in the lead up to Halloween. It is their last night on the job, but Deja isn’t going to let that sadden her. She has a mission which will lead them on one last adventure together.

I don’t very often read graphic novels, but this one had been on my radar for a little while. I’d heard many good things about it, and I agree, it was really good. I didn’t want to put it down, so I read the whole thing in one go.

At first, when I read the blurb, I wasn’t sure how much fun two high schoolers working in a pumpkin patch (and at night??) would actually have. I’m Australian, so I was picturing them in the pumpkin fields, doing things like weeding, fertilising, or harvesting fat pumpkins! I had no idea that a pumpkin patch is actually a seasonal fair that is held in the lead up to Halloween. So right off the bat, I learnt something new! The map on the inner cover of the book really helped me discover the pumpkin patch, and orient myself through the story. When I think about the pumpkin patch, it does sound pretty neat. I think it would be lots of fun to wander about a corn maze, whilst eating a variety of holiday themed snacks, and seeing things like chicken races and pumpkin slingshots.

Graphic novels read like long comics, and this one was easy to get into. It was a quick and entertaining read, though a little predictable. The chapters were short, and the artwork was great. I was left feeling happy and satisfied after reading Pumpkinheads.

Deja was a cool and outgoing character, who contrasted nicely with her work buddy Josiah, who was way more serious and quiet. They were both quite likable, but it was Deja’s enthusiasm and determination that sucked me in. She was a girl on a mission, well, more than one mission! She felt more real than many characters found in YA; she was just a normal teen working a part-time job, eating junk, hanging out with friends, and having fun. It was refreshing. Josiah was also portrayed well. He reminded me of several boys I knew growing up. So clueless, but adorably so.

Of course, the artwork brought the characters to life, but it also meant that I didn’t have a chance to create them in my mind first (one reason I hate seeing the movie before the book!). I guess that is a hazard of the graphic novel, but nevertheless, I thought everything was drawn with great talent. The facial expressions and body language of the characters was extremely good; it would have been possible to follow the story without reading the speech.

And that goat! Ha! That goat was just perfect. Love that goat.

Pumkinheads is suitable for high school students.

 

Geronimo Stilton Mini Mysteries Series

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These stories are small format books that make for a quick and easy read suitable for lower and middle primary school children. Geronimo Stilton is a very likeable character, and his adventures are fun and exciting. He is the editor of The Rodent’s Gazette, a big newspaper in New Mouse City on Mouse Island. Sounding cheesy? Geronimo is a mouse, and these books are rodent themed in a big way. The characters names are rodent or cheese related, and there are plenty of themed words like fabumouse and enormouse, as well as lots of references to paws, tails, whiskers and cheese. The mini mystery books are shorter stories than those of the regular series, but are still written in the same style. There are colour illustrations throughout, and some words in the text are written in different colours, fonts, shapes and sizes. This makes the text fun and challenging. There are several clues in each of the books to engage and encourage the reader to play detective too. These mini mysteries are a fabulous introduction to the main Geronimo Stilton series, and the Thea Stilton series (Thea is Geronimo’s sister).

IMG_3410Geronimo Stilton: The Super Scam, paperback, 77 pages, published by Scholastic Inc in 2012. This is the first book in the Geronimo Stilton Mini Mysteries series.

Geronimo gets an urgent letter inviting him to the grand opening of a new superstore. His nephew, Benjamin, is very keen to go, and Geronimo can’t say no. When they finally arrive, they are given a set of free headphones to use, and suddenly they are so happy, dancing and buying everything in sight. When Geronimo is knocked down by another shopper, he realises that something isn’t right with the new superstore, and he enlists Benjamin and his friend Bugsy Wugsy to help him find out what’s really going on.

 

IMG_3411Geronimo Stilton: The Lake Monster, paperback, 77 pages, published by Scholastic Inc in 2012. This is the second book in the Geronimo Stilton Mini Mysteries series.

Geronimo’s arch enemy Sally Ratmousen, the editor of The Daily Rat, the main rival to The Rodent’s Gazette, publishes a scoop article and photo of a lake monster. Geronimo heads to the lake with his sister Thea, nephew Benjamin and friends Petunia and Bugsy Wugsy to try to get his own version of the story. Along with his photographer Snapson, Geronimo attempts to photograph the lake monster, but it doesn’t quite happen the way he expects. Something is fishy about this lake monster, and Geronimo is going to find out the truth.

 

IMG_3409Geronimo Stilton: The Mouse Hoax, paperback, 76 pages, published by Scholastic Inc in 2012. This is the third book in the Geronimo Stilton Mini Mysteries series.

When Geronimo is given a painting by the famous artist Pablo Mousehasso there is a mysterious message on the back of the accompanying note. Geronimo must work out the mystery aided by his nephew Benjamin, and his friends Petunia Pretty Paws and Hercule Poirat.