Stowaways, sea chanteys and sirens—they’re all here in Aaron Renier’s rip-snorting new graphic novel. Drawing on motifs from sources as diverse as the great Homeric epics, Moby Dick and the snarky romp of The Pirates of the Caribbean movies, Renier reinvents adventure at sea for a new generation. The first in a series of five, Walker Bean began “as a parade of my ideas and fantasies…masquerading as an adventure story,” he says. “I wanted to use all the usual tropes—a shadowy stranger, a cursed object, the journal from an elder to come to the rescue—and try to use them in a way that worked with my personality. I wanted it to be fun to draw. And it was.” The frenzied pace of the storytelling, the cluttered chaos of the images and the faded palette, designed with colorist Alec Longstreth, combine to get readers’ hearts pumping with excitement, scrambling to turn the next page. Next up for Walker Bean? “We’ll be marooned on an island chain,” says Renier. “We’ll learn a bunch about the bigger story, but I hope it’s just like a giant camping trip, where the ghost story comes true.”
For a complete list of all the graphic novels among Kirkus’ Best Children's Books of 2010, click here.
Kirkus found quite a few novels with great boy characters to include among our Best Children's Books of 2010. See them all here.
The Unsinkable Walker Bean
First Second/Roaring Brook / August / 9781596434530 / $13.99 / ages 10 & up