Saturday, September 14, 2019

Cartoon Saturday- Guts

Telgemeier, Raina. Guts (Smile #3)
September 17th 2019 by Graphix
Copy provided by the publisher

In this third graphic novel memoir, popular author Telgemeier recounts the difficulties she faced in fourth and fifth grade. Living in a small apartment with her parents and younger sister and brother, her family often passed around stomach flu. Combined with the anxiety she felt at school, this morphed into a fear of certain foods, and a terror about vomiting. She often would have an upset stomach, which caused her to miss a lot of school. The doctors could never find any physical ailment, so eventually her parents sent her to a therapist, who helped her with her anxiety. Late elementary school has a lot of friend drama, and Raina had to deal with the impending move of her best friend, as well as a mean girl. Therapy helped her learn some coping mechanisms that made it possible for her to get through school and even make some supportive friends.
Strengths: There are not many books that deal with children participating in therapy (Gerber's Focused being the most recent exception), and with the growing number of children with anxiety issues, this is a needed topic. It is good to see that there were supportive adults in Telgemeier's life who got her the help she needed; perhaps readers who aren't getting this help will be able to use this book as a springboard for conversations with their own family.
Weaknesses: If this were a fiction book, I would have wanted more of a plot (in Gerber's book, the main character was also involved in a chess competition), but since it's a memoir, it's not technically needed.
What I really think: I will definitely have to purchase several copies, but this is not my cup of tea. It does show the power of attractive illustrations to sell a story that would be hard to push if it were straight narrative fiction!

Savage, Doug. Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy: Time Trout
September 17th 2019 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
Copy provided by the publisher

Following the Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy and Disco Fever (which I missed), our forest friends return with a new adventure. A time traveler from the future loses his time travel device, which gets swallowed by Trout. This leads to both Moose and Rabbit traveling through time while also worrying about reattaching Frank the Deer's legs. They also encounter the evil AquaBear and have to fight him off.
Strengths: There's a nice moral lesson about Laser Moose suffering as a small moose alone in the forest but deciding not to change his life, because doing so might lead to him not having laser powers.
Weaknesses: Frank's leg! Ick! Ick! Ick! I am not skeeved by too many things (Except headphones. And earbuds. No, I don't keep them in the library for everyone to use. Ew.), but the images of Frank's cut off leg turn my stomach.
What I really think: It doesn't matter if I like these. My students do. Usually, it's not the same target demographic that reads Guts, but my graphic novel readers are not very discerning. If it's got pictures, it's fine. They will even pick up Anne of Green Gables, which fascinates me.

1 comment:

  1. I have many students waiting anxiously for Guts. Lot of graphic novel fans at my school for sure. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.