The Dangerous Alphabet
The librarians at PCLS classified Neil Gaiman and Gris Grimly‘s The Dangerous Alphabet as a Junior Graphic Novel, though that doesn’t really capture the flavor of it. Young Adult Graphic Novels and Adult Graphic Novels have a pretty definite and specific format, and this book Looks rather more like an Easy Picture Book, although on closer examination it may indeed be rather too scary for the pre-school set.
I’ve heard so much about Neil Gaiman from online friends and book reviewers but this was the first of his books I happened upon at the library. Gaiman has composed a series of thirteen ingenious but potentially disturbing couplets,ably illustrated by Mr. Grimly which follow the adventures of a young girl and boy and their pet gazelle as they sneak past their father and out of the house and head down into the labyrinths beneath the city where they encounter all manner of trolls, goblins and other assorted nasty creatures. The rhymes are quite clever and the illustrations rather frightening. This book is Recommended, but only for older children who do not scare easily.
Michael Rex is one of my favorite children’s author/illustrators. His books seem to be written very specifically for little boys, and the characters and themes are always rather, well, butch. My Fire Engine realistically describes the work of a fire department engine company as a little boy plays with his fire engine. The illustrations are wonderful and this is a very cute book for little boys. Recommended. (Note that this title is not available from Powells.com. A non-affiliate Amazon link is provided instead for your convenience.)
A short while back I wrote about the Little Golden Book Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, which my friend Jodith said was her favorite. (Sadly the book I found at the library was a new release based upon the cartoon movie, rather than the original Little Golden Book based on the song.) In reviewing Golden Legacy, I also learned that librarians have never really cared for the Little Golden Books, calling them commercial, cheap and not literature. Aside from the new Rudolph the only Little Golden Book I could find in the library is this 2003 treatment of the popular Disney film. Honestly, I was not very impressed. While the artwork is loosely based on the popular film, I found that the sweet story was compressed to the point of breaking. Not Recommended. I was also amazed when I went to look this book up on Worldcat that Disney has licensed over a dozen different children’s books based on this movie. Feh.