Saturday, December 12, 2009


By Kevin Hodgson
Staff Writer

I wish we had this graphic novel for young readers in the time leading up to our family trip to Japan last year. My four year old son would have learned a lot about airports and airplanes from this book.

AIRPLANE ADVENTURE, which is part of a series of books under the auspices of Stone Arch Books' My 1st Graphic Novel, is a gentle story about two young siblings, Juan and Anna, who are traveling to Mexico to visit their grandmother. The story –written by Cari Meister and illustrated by Marilyn Janovitz – follows their adventures going through security in the airport, passing the time on the airplane and then meeting their grandmother in Mexico. It's a wonderful story that is as informative for young eyes as it is interesting. My son, now five years old, listened closely and viewed the pictures with great interest as I read it to him just this morning.

The illustrations are simple and just right for young eyes. The two characters have nice large faces, with warm eyes, and even the visit through security at the airport is non-threatening. Marilyn Janovitz uses basic colors and lots of white space in the backgrounds. The art nicely compliments the simple story told here.


Reading level: Ages 4-8
Format: Reinforced Library Binding:
Pages: 25
Publisher: Stone Arch Books
ISBN-10: 1434216187
ISBN-13: 978-1434216182

This book is geared towards emerging readers and it fits the bill nicely. With simple text and complementary illustrations, AIRPLANE ADVENTURE is an engaging story. One thing that I really liked is that the first two pages of the book are a tutorial on how to read a graphic novel. The pages show sample frames from a graphic novel and go through how to progress (left to right, top to bottom) and how to read the onomatopoeic words for sound effects. It ends with the sentence, "The pictures and the words work together to tell the whole story." I like that. In fact, I might even use this page with my sixth graders as we look at the concept of graphic novels.

Highly Recommended
For young readers, or even for read-aloud, this book is perfect. The simplicity of the story, of the images and of the design of the graphic novel makes this a welcome addition for teachers of young children. Most readers above basic reading skills would likely be bored by this book, although it might be a great resource for those older students who are either ESL or struggling readers.

No comments: