Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Graphic Novel?

Babymouse Queen of the World!

By:  Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm 

This class is already introduced me to many books that I never would have known existed or taken the time to read  before.  I have to admit until a few weeks ago I did not know what a Graphic Novel was.  If you had asked me before I probably would not have said something that was appropriate for children to read! But Babymouse has opened my eyes to the Graphic Novel world.  

Babymouse is a very believable character.  She is what I imagine most young girls are like just one with a heightened imagination.  Her imagination is what I believe is one thing that keeps her from "fitting in" as she seems to do some silly things in real life while she is imagining her pretend life.  Her daydreams, however, I think are also a way for her to make her life seem very exciting.  For example when she is passing a note in her class she imagines she is a detective with a secret. Babymouse struggles in the book because she wants to be apart of the "in crowd" which is led by Felicia Furrypaws.   She has what I believe many young girl has is feelings of being left out or inadequacy.  Babymouse does many things that she should not do to get the attention of Felicia and to ultimately get invited to her sleepover, including giving Felicia her own book report and getting in trouble with her teacher.  She also ignores her best friend, Wilson, who seems to stand by her no matter what.  In the end however she sees that Felicia is not a good friend and is not worth her spending time with and she makes it up to Wilson.  

This story is one that I believe most young teenagers or tweens can identify with.  I know I myself at that age had many insecurities and also felt like I was not apart of the cool group and struggled with that through Middle school.  Although Babymouse makes some bad choices she eventually sees the error of her ways and feels as though she is the Queen of the World with all that she already has, which is a valuable lesson for children and young teens to learn. 

This book does make me have one question about Babymouse.  She herself is very bossy to Wilson.  In the one page where she says they have been friends forever the illustrations show her making him do all of these things such as holding her up to reach a cupcake or swinging her higher and higher.  It is almost as if she is the same way to Wilson as Felicia is to her.  I would like to see if after deciding that Felicia is not nice if she herself changed the way she acted as well.  There are many more Babymouse books and I would be curious to see if she was bossy in all of the books.  It does lead me to wanting to read more to see how the character changes and evolves.  

The illustrations in Babymouse are black and white cartoon sketches with a hint of pink because well Babymouse is a girl and  she seems to love her pink heart that adorns her dress.  The illustrations keep the story going.  Most of them are framed just as a cartoon would be but some span the entire page and go to the end of the page.  Those illustrations are usually when Babymouse is having one of her many wildly imaginative daydreams.  The authors also use speech bubbles, which makes the story move very quickly.  I believe this is also a great tool in appealing to children.  They do not see it as reading a book but more like a comic strip, which I can imagine makes it wildly popular with the children.  The only drawback I can see is that the main character is a girl and that would probably not appeal to boys but I believe young girls would be excited to read it.  All in all I enjoyed the book and would recommend this book if I were in the upper grades, especially if I had a child who was not so excited about reading.  This might change their outlook on books and get them reading more, which as a teacher is something to always be excited about!

2 comments:

  1. I wish our school library carried this series since its target audience is girls. We have ALL of the Diary of the Wimpy Kids. Both are great high interest reads for the lower level reader.

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  2. The boys in my class love this as much as the girls do!!! The same authors also have another series called "Squish" which is about an amoeba. I adore Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm. I, too, am now curious about how bossy Babymouse is to Wilson. I'll have to ask my kiddos.

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