Choppy storytelling doesn’t lessen the power or truth of the stories.

READ REVIEW

SURVIVORS OF THE HOLOCAUST

TRUE STORIES OF SIX EXTRAORDINARY CHILDREN

Shackleton works very hard to protect readers from the stories she’s presenting.

Each chapter of this graphic novel recounts the true experiences of a Jewish child who survived the Holocaust, and the stories, told by the survivors and edited by Shackleton, can be painful to read. Arek was nearly sent to a gas chamber at Birkenau and had to watch a girl being pulled away from her mother by the guards. But each chapter ends with the child living in a safe place. This is not to say that every chapter has a happy ending. One boy sees rockets exploding during an air raid. A girl named Suzanne finds shelter on a farm far out in the country and, ironically, doesn’t learn that the war has ended until two years after it’s over. But every segment concludes on a positive note, as in: “Suzanne was eventually rescued by the Red Cross and taken to live with her grandmother in…England.” This makes some sections of the book feel truncated, but readers may be grateful for the relief. Suzanne even ends up surrounded by farm animals in a truly lovely illustration. Whittingham’s character designs are inventive and, in their bleakest moments, resemble the animated sequences in Pink Floyd’s The Wall, which seems appropriate, since the book was inspired by animated films from the BBC.

Choppy storytelling doesn’t lessen the power or truth of the stories. (glossary, timeline, index, recommended websites) (Graphic nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-8892-1

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Sourcebooks eXplore

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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African-American Geo cuts a suitably chiseled figure in the pictures, but he doesn’t get enough to do and so is really no...

THE INCREDIBLE PLATE TECTONICS COMIC

From the Adventures of Geo series , Vol. 1

Superhero Geo introduces readers to plate tectonics.

Reviewing information on his way to school for a big geology test, young George transforms himself into “Geo,” a uniformed superhero with a rocket-propelled skateboard and a robotic canine sidekick. In his imaginary adventure, he leaps over sidewalk “faults,” swerves away from “tsunamis” splashed up by a passing truck and saves an elderly lady from falling into an open manhole “volcano.” Meanwhile, supported by visual aids provided by inserted graphics and maps, Geo goes over the convergent, divergent and transform movements of tectonic plates, subduction, magnetic “stripes” paralleling oceanic ridges and a host of other need-to-know facts and terms. All of this is illustrated in big, brightly colored sequential panels of cartoon art hung about with heavy blocks of explication. After the exam comes back with, natch, a perfect score (“I guess all that studying paid off”), Lee, a geophysicist, abandons the story for a final 10 pages of recap and further detail on plate tectonics’ causes, effects and measurement—closing with a description of what geologists do.

African-American Geo cuts a suitably chiseled figure in the pictures, but he doesn’t get enough to do and so is really no more than a mouthpiece—perhaps there will be more of a plot in his next adventure. (online projects, index) (Graphic nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-59327-549-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: No Starch Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 20, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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Readers with a less-than-burning interest may struggle…or find that interest kindled by the end.

THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN COMICS

A visual history of our planet’s long career as a nursery for living things.

A brown-skinned paleontologist in a lab coat patiently guides three chattering listeners through the ages from Earth’s fiery formation through climate and other geophysical changes to the present day’s “sixth period of mass extinction.” As she goes, she rolls out polysyllabic terms and nomenclature at a rate that may leave casual readers struggling to keep up but will undoubtedly elevate the pulses of devoted young STEM-winders. Side comments from her audience add common-language context (“The Carboniferous is the age of coal…” one says, while the other concludes, “…and also the age of roaches!”). Though blocks of narrative crowd Barman’s panels, her cartoon portraits of alien-looking sea life evolving first into extinct, pop-eyed plant eaters and toothy, slavering predators, then finally familiar creatures such as us, flesh out the fossil story in lighthearted but reasonably accurate detail. (“Lighthearted” except for one scene of a poached rhino with its horn bloodily removed, that is.) Animals hog the spotlight, and a specious claim that all stars have planets mars the closing vision of new kinds of life arising both on our own world and elsewhere. Still, this French import offers an overview as coherent as it is chronologically broad…particularly for readers not intimidated by encounters with plesiadapiforms, perissodactyls, Gomphoteria, and like sesquipedalia. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.5-by-15.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 77% of actual size.)

Readers with a less-than-burning interest may struggle…or find that interest kindled by the end. (partial glossary, index) (Informational picture book. 10-12)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4578-3

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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