So, it's summertime and the kids of Estabrook are off to music camp and to sculpture camp, and to work for the town's underground paper. Cool summer. Oh yeah, and the kids are elephants and mice and rabbits and giraffes. The sculpture teacher is a humpback whale in spectacles who drives around in a big glass water globe atop a bulldozer. The underground paper really is underground, and utilizes a whole system of secrets passageways and amusement-park-style rail cars to get around down there. And then, there's the monster in the town pond, and that's a whole lot of trouble.
This is Spiral-Bound by Aaron Renier, a wild and crazy 178-page, kid-friendly graphic novel put out by Top Shelf Productions. It's not brand-new, but it was one our friend Brett gave us last week when we were at his place. I love it. Even though I'm in the middle of a very gripping novel at the moment, when I picked up Spiral-Bound to leaf through it, it grabbed me and I ended up reading the whole thing. It's serious fun -- and perfect for kids. . . I don't know -- age 7 and up? There are submarines and monsters and rock bands, secret tunnels, cool treehouses and creepy abandoned parks. And there are the little details in the drawings, like a bat rolling out clay with a rolling pin, and a mouse playing a stand-up bass, and a ladybug fry cook in an apron! I know librarians are often on the lookout for comics for kids -- no superheroes or guns or gigantic busoms -- and this is a perfect one to know about. Check it out!
P.S. Like all Top Shelf's books, the production on this is awesome. It has rounded corners and the spine is printed to look like a spiral notebook with a pencil stuck in it. The first few pages and last few look like notebook paper with drawings and a map, and it's overall just high quality. Really good paper, cool design, and endorsements on the back from, among others, Dav Pilkey and Lemony Snicket. Wow.