Thursday, April 5, 2012

Explorer:The Mystery Boxes - Kazu Kibuishi

Explorer:The Mystery Boxes -edited by Kazu Kibuishi
A collection of seven graphic novels, each story stems from an unknown box being opened. One of the thing I love about all of the stories is while they may be short they are fully formed. Each story is well crafted, the authors used the small amount space wisely both visually and textually. While the stories are very different, the thread of the mystery box is a enough to bind them together.
In Under The Floorboards by Emily Carroll - A young girl is excited about her new friend/former doll, until it shows its true colors. Carroll starts this collection on a very strong note. And extra points for the doll's creepy face. In Spring Cleaning* by Dave Roman and Raina Telgemeier - A young boy must find somewhere to hide living magic from three wizards desperate to get their hands on it. Roman and Telgemeier collaborated on very funny, entertaining and well layered story.
In The Keeper's Treasure by Jason Caffoe - A young man goes on a treasure hunt. What makes this story stand out is who the young man meets at the end of his travels.
In The Butter Thief* by Rad Sechrist - A granddaughter must figure out a way to help a creature who love the taste of butter if she wants to return to her human ever again. I loved the author's use of color.
In The Soldier's Daughter by Stuart Livingston with Stephanie Ramriez - After learning that her dad died in battle a daughter must decide what path she will take revenge or forgiveness. This was a very nice look at some of the emotional causalities of war.
In Whatzit by Johane Matte with Saymone Phanekham - A young alien's excitement about being box handler is quelled when something in the box won't cooperate. This one is fun light and silly.
In The Escape Option by Kazu Kibuishi - A man presented with a glimpse of the earth's future has a life changing decision to make. This one is filled with a lot of wow and will leave the reader with a lot to think about.
This is a wonderful anthology, even some one like me, who is sometimes blind to the beauty that is a graphic novel can appreciate This is one of the few times I've read a collection and had several favorites to choose from.

Starred Kirkus Review
Starred School Library Journal Review

*In Spring Cleaning the young boy is Black. In The Butter Thief the family is Japanese.

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