From the Campfire Classics series

A lively and informal look at the young Beatles.

This introduction to the Beatles during their formative years in the late 1950s and early ’60s reveals their struggle to reach “the toppermost of the poppermost” of the rock-music world.

Multiframe illustrations and colloquial dialogue boxes visually and verbally trace Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, and Starr from their births during World War II through the release of their first hit record in 1962. While the text relies primarily on imaginary dialogue, events described in the narration are “based on facts taken from published sources.” Quinn shows the impact of Elvis Presley and other rock ’n’ roll stars on Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison as they come of age in post-war Liverpool, form the Quarrymen, change their name to the Beatles, spend time in Hamburg, and return home to adopt trademark haircuts and suits, compose seriously, add Starr as drummer, and emerge on the world scene. With its strong, action-packed images and varied panel sizes, the graphic format allows a cinematic peek at the Beatles, although early rock ’n’ roll references, Liverpool slang, and stylized renderings of the iconic four could prove challenging for contemporary readers.

A lively and informal look at the young Beatles. (Beatles facts) (Graphic biography. 10-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-93-81182-22-2

Page Count: 150

Publisher: Campfire

Review Posted Online: Oct. 18, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2016



More story than study, the book provides an accessible introduction to Goodall’s, Fossey’s and Galdikas’ lives and work.

Veteran science writer Ottaviani (Feynman, 2011, etc.) teams up with illustration newcomer Wicks in this semifictionalized overview of the “Trimates,” three women primatologists championed by Louis Leakey.

The book opens with Goodall’s cozy first-person account of her childhood dreams of studying animals in Africa, her recruitment by Leakey, the establishment of her long-term chimpanzee study in Nigeria and her key discoveries regarding chimpanzee behavior. The narrative then shifts from Goodall to Leakey’s other protégées, Fossey and Galdikas, and their influential research on, respectively, gorillas and orangutans. Fossey and Galdikas also tell their own tales in distinct, often funny, voices. Wicks’ cheerful drawings complement the women’s stories by highlighting their humorous moments. However, the simplicity of Wicks’ rounded figures and flat backgrounds make the panels documenting primate behavior less effective than they could be. Another weakness is the text’s tendency to summarize when more scientific and biographical detail would be welcome. For example, the final chapter covers the later stages of the Trimates’ careers but only briefly addresses the circumstances surrounding Fossey’s death. Readers looking for more substantial biographies or science should seek out other sources after whetting their appetites here.

More story than study, the book provides an accessible introduction to Goodall’s, Fossey’s and Galdikas’ lives and work. (afterword, bibliography) (Graphic novel. 10-14)

Pub Date: June 11, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-59643-865-1

Page Count: 144

Publisher: First Second/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: March 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013


It’s a lot to take in at one sitting, but this anatomical extravaganza really gets to the heart of the matter. Not to...

A theatrical introduction to human anatomy, as well-choreographed as it is informative.

In 11 “Acts” hosted con brio by a skeletal impresario (“Bring out the lungs!”), Wicks parades a revue of body systems across a curtained stage. It’s a full program, with a teeming supporting cast from Dopamine to Diaphragm, Golgi Body to Gastroenteritis joining more-familiar headliners. The presentation opens with a zoom down to the cellular and even molecular levels to lay foundations for later macro and micro views of digestion, infection, and disease. Following this, the five senses (only five), the “dance of the oxygen fairies,” allergic reactions, and other anatomical processes that make up each system’s major components, most sporting cheery emoji-style faces, expressively demonstrate their respective functions. The reproductive system’s named parts deliver a frank but visually discreet turn with descriptions of erections and fertilization but no direct depictions, and it stops with the onset of puberty. The performances are enhanced by labeled diagrams, pitches on relevant topics from the importance of immunization and proper nutrition to synonyms for “fart,” and lists of important words and further resources. A few miscues aside (no, the speed of sound is not invariant), it’s a grand show, with a logically placed intermission following a peek into the bladder and a literal “wrap” at the end as the emcee puts herself together from inside out.

It’s a lot to take in at one sitting, but this anatomical extravaganza really gets to the heart of the matter. Not to mention the guts, nerves, veins, bones…. (glossary, bibliography) (Graphic nonfiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-62672-277-4

Page Count: 240

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2015

Close Quickview