Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Holiday Gifts: AMP! Comics Edition

One of the reason that my students love graphic novels so much might well be that they don't read the newspaper, so they don't get their daily fix of comics, even though I provide a paper in the library. Reading the comics is still something I enjoy every day; my daughter and I were very upset when Stone Soup went to a weekly format! 

25363438Weber, Bob and Stephens, Jay. Oh, Brother! Brat Attack
October 27th 2015 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
Copy provided by the publisher

Lily takes good care of her younger brother, Bud, even though he is a high energy kid. She takes him bowling and to the park, makes sure he is well fed (especially with cake), and tries to keep him clean and safe from squirrels. (Tip: Don't go to the park with peanut butter all over your clothes.) While Bud is often exasperating, he and Lily clearly love each other and enjoy spending time together, which is a good thing, since there are no parents in evidence. While I had never heard of this comic, it was quite enjoyable, and a good mix of sibling bickering but with an underlying positive message. This would actually make a good middle grade novel, and I would have enjoyed this a lot at a child. This strip is featured on

23492249Pastis, Stephan T. Skip School, Fly to to Space
August 4th 2015 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
Copy provided by the publisher

Pastis' appeal to middle grade readers is evidenced by the extreme popularity of Timmy Failure, which I do not understand at all. (The imaginary polar bear really bothers me!) The comic strip Pearls Before Swine frequently verges into inappropriate territory (weaponized ducks, rats drinking), so this cleaned-up version is a good way to introduce the strip to younger readers. Rendered in full color, these strips are goofy and fun, and would make great holiday reading. 

25074379Peirce, Lincoln. Big Nate: Welcome to My World
September 15th 2015 by Andrews McMeel Publishing 
Copy provided by the publisher

Oh, Nate. How I love you! In fact, the fact that Stone Soup was replaced by Big Nate in the Columbus Dispatch made me feel a little bit better. I'd rather that Mr. Peirce spent all of his time on the novel versions, but the students love the comic strips even more. I especially liked the plot lines in this one when the grandparents came to school, Nate bedeviling the school photographer, and Nate's attempts to cut back on Cheez Doodles at his father's insistence. Both would make great topics for narrative fiction, although the pictures are fun as well. In full color, all of the AMP! Comics are printed on gorgeously heavy paper. There are comic books of interest to just about every child. 

Check out their selection at:

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