Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday Cartoons

Torres, J. and Elbert Or. Lola: A Ghost Story.
Jesse has to go to the Philippines for his grandmother's funeral. He doesn't like being there-- he's not used to the crowd of relatives, the heat, the bugs, or the horrible feeling that his cousin and former playmate is haunting him from beyond the grave. Jesse is afraid that he has inherited his grandmother's abilities to see ghosts, which is especially frightening when he thinks about all of the scary stories that she told him. His aunt and uncle are not doing well after the death of their son, and Jesse being there upsets them further until he is able to find a toy that his cousin lost before his death, and put his cousin's ghost to rest.

Strengths: This was an intriguing look at Philippine culture and folklore, and these elements were incorporated into the story of a family's loss very well. The illustrations complement the story in the graphic novel.
Weaknesses: There were some aspects of life in the Philippines that could have been explained a bit more.

Himaruya, Hidekaz. Hetalia: Axis Powers 1

My exchange student is a huge fan of manga and loaned me this one. She was pleased to have gotten a Hetalia bookmark of the Iceland character from this series. I tried valiantly to read this, but was so put off by the stereotypes of the characters that it was very hard to follow. This is a Japanese publication; I can't believe a US author would get away with this many ethnic slurs and jokes. Also, it's nice that TokyoPop rates these books by age, since manga frequently include bad language and naked women.

From the publisher:" During World War I, gruff Germany finds Italy hiding in a wooden box of tomatoes. Germany takes Italy as prisoner, but instead of war-like interrogation, Italy becomes more of the nuisance and unwanted guest. World War I quickly comes to an end, but World War II is right on its heels!"

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