Graphic Owl Book Club
For our second month of the Graphic Owl Club, we have two excellent reads.
Our new release graphic novel is Little Monarchs by Jonathan Chase.
Little Monarchs is a new kind of graphic novel adventure—one that invites readers to take an intimate look at the natural world and the secrets hidden within.
Real locations are used within the story. Curious readers can follow their travel routes. Through comic narrative and journal entries, readers learn the basics of star navigation, how to tie proper knots, and other survival skills applicable in the natural world.
Creator Jonathan Case gathered the information for Little Monarchs through intensive research and several expeditions to study monarchs across the western United States. Scientific support also came from the Xerces Society, the world leader in monarch preservation.
Little Monarchs is a Junior Library Guild Selection and has received starred reviews (starred reviews are the best you can get) from Booklist, Publishers Weekly, Shelf Awareness and Kirkus Reviews. That is a big deal for any book. Little Monarchs is not scheduled to be in the mainstream Australian market.
The second book for the Graphic Owl Club is Shirley & Jamila’s Big Fall by Gillian Goerz. This is the second book in the Shirley and Jamila Series. It will be available in Australian bookstores towards the middle of the year.
For fans of Raina Telgemeier and Victoria Jamieson, this middle grade graphic novel tells the story of Shirley and Jamila, two girl detectives
on a mission to stop their school's biggest bully once and for all
As Jamila settles into the rhythms of classes and after-school basketball practice, Shirley has a new mystery on her mind. Her old enemy Chuck is up to his usual tricks- He's been blackmailing kids all over school, and Shirley knows that she and Jamila can put a stop to it.
They hatch a plan- They'll break into his house late one night and recover all the notes Chuck's been using to blackmail innocent kids.
But while Shirley and Jamila are at the house, another intruder arrives-an intruder who can help them put a stop to Chuck's crimes.
Kirkus Reviews gave Shirley and Jamila’s Big Fall a starred review stating, “Goerz is a master of character development, making no one into a villain and no one into a saint and giving each a fascinating role to play. . . . An action-packed graphic novel about finding, and forgiving, our closest friends."
I hope you love this month’s selections as much as I do.
Picture from Climb On by Baptiste Paul, illustrated by Jacqueline Alcantara. Courtesy of North South Books.
Our picture book new release book is Climb On by Baptiste Paul, illustrated by Jacqueline Alcántara
When a young child reminds her dad about the hike they planned, her father is hesitant —To the tippy top? It’s a great day to watch futbol (soccer). But as the two climb on, her enthusiasm is contagious. Filled with setbacks, surprises, and stunning views, this warm and humorous story highlights in vivid colours the bonding power of a shared experience. A list of creatures at the end prompts a second look for keen-eyed readers to make their own discoveries.
Baptiste Paul’s previous book won five picture book of the year awards. Including the School Library Journal Picture Book of the Year. I love this book for its infectious enthusiasm and bright illustrations that make you wish you were there on the hike.
Climb On will be released into the Australian mainstream market in August 2022
The second book is Mica the Star Sailor by Bertie Blackman. Many people will know Bertie Blackman as an ARIA winning musician, but she has also written a beautiful children's book that explores the wonders of imagination and connectedness. This is an ode to love, loss and anything else you want it to be.
Our Intrigue Club books this month have a wintery feel. Mr Wolf’s Class, Snow Day by Aron Nels Steinke is a graphic novel sure to delight young and old.
Set in a primary school, Snow Day dives into the day to day lives of Mr Wolf and his students at Hazelwood Elementary. There is a blizzard on the way, and everyone is excited that the school day will end early. But Abdi is distracted as his brother is having surgery, and he is meant to go home with Henry. They then miss the bus and end up having an unexpected adventure with Mr Wolf.
This is the fifth book in the Mr Wolf series, and I am constantly restocking it. It is especially brilliant for early readers or reluctant readers as it is fun, engaging and has a lot of heart. I love this series.
If you get the second book option, you will receive two books - Animal Rescue Agency Case File: Little Claws by Eliot Schrefer. Schrefer is a New York Times Bestselling author, and this is the first book in a series about Esquire Fox and Mr Pepper ( a rooster) who work together as the Animal Rescue Agency. This adventure sees them rushing against time to save a polar bear. Animal Rescue Agency received a Starred Review from Kirkus Review.
The third book is Bug Scouts: Out in the Wild by Mike Lowery; Lowery is a New York Times bestselling illustrator who has worked on dozens of award-winning books for kids. This is the first book in a new series about Doug, Abby and Josh (the Bug Scouts), who must work together to earn their foraging bug badge. Like Snow Day, this is a graphic novel. Why so many graphic novels, you ask? Because they are brilliant transition books for young readers who are moving from picture books to chapter books. They allow kids to break the story down into snippets, and it isn’t too overwhelming. It can also help them decipher what is happening on each page, especially if they are still learning all the words.
Our new release book this month has an environmental message. It is Consider the Octopus by Nora Raleigh Baskin and Gae Polisner.
Jeremy "JB" Barnes is looking forward to spending the summer before year seven on the beach. But his mother, a scientist, has called for him to join her aboard a research ship where, instead, he'll spend his summer seasick and bored as he stares out at the endless plastic, microbeads, and other floating debris, both visible and not, that make up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
Twelve-year-old Sidney Miller is trying to come up with an alternate activity worthy of convincing her overprotective parents that she can skip summer camp.
When Jeremy is asked to find the contact information for a list of important international scientists and invite them to attend a last-minute Emergency Global Summit, he's excited to have a chance to actually do something that matters to the mission. How could he know that the Sidney Miller he messages is not the famous marine biologist he has been tasked with contacting, but rather a girl making podcasts from her bedroom-let alone that she would want to sneak aboard the ship?
Consider the Octopus is a comedy of errors, mistaken identity, and synchronicity. Above all, it is a heartfelt story about friendship and an empowering call to environmental protection, especially to our young people who are already stepping up to help save our oceans and our Earth.
Consider the Octopus will be available in Australian stores in July. It was given a starred review from Kirkus Reviews and School Library Journal wrote “With nonstop action . . . and empathetic characters, this is a fast, fun read. A sure winner for readers interested in the environment and adventure, or even just in adventure”.
Our second book for our middle grade readers is The Sheep, The Rooster and The Duck by Matt Phelan. Set in 1783 in France, ten-year-old Emilie works as Benjamin Franklin's caretaker, but after he finds himself in the middle of a sinister plot, he helps France's undercover guardians (a sheep, a roster, and a duck) save the world. This book is so much fun with brilliant illustrations from Matt Phelan. It has received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly and Booklist. The School Library Journal wrote "Readers will adventure with the characters through sinister plots and awkward and humorous situations as they work to outsmart the villains . . . This extraordinary group of animal spies is brought to life through witty dialogue, and the graphic novel-type illustrations are a huge part of the storytelling. . . . It is a story of friendship and bravery, and a celebration of history. A fun, fast-paced adventure with tons of historical references and witty humor. Great for all readers and as a classroom read-aloud.”