Skip to main content

Explorer: The Lost Islands, edited by Kazu Kibuishi, 128 pp, RL 3

In 2012 we were treated to Explorer: The Mystery Boxes, edited by Kazu Kibuishi, author of the amazing Amulet graphic novel series (waiting anxiously for Book 6...) and illustrator of the cover art for the 15th anniversary editions of the Harry Potter books (scroll to the bottom for images and a link to even MORE images). Once again, an amazing group of graphic novelists convenes to create Explorer: The Lost Islands. Greats like Jake Parker (Missile Mouse), Raina Telgemeier (Smile, Drama) and her husband Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy), Michel Gagné (ZED: A Cosmic Tale), Katie Shanahan and her brother, Steven, (Shrub Monkeys) Jason Caffoe, a contributor to Flight 7 and Chrystin Garland, freelance animator and digital artist, lend their talents to this volume. Each of the seven stories in Explorer: The Lost Islands takes place on or ends up on an island and is as individual as the artists who created it.

Explorer: The Lost Islands kicks off with Jake Parker's story, Rabbit Island, is a Little Red Hen sort of story with a retro comic strip style of illustration and a color palette markedly different from Missile Mouse. I especially love this story because there's a robot in it.

Chrystin Garland's story, The Mask Dance, is an exciting adventure and a bit haunting. A diligent young girl is tricked by a mask-wearing reveler into heading off to a festival on a nearby island...

Radio Adrift by Katie and Steven Shanahan is a fantastic story that reminds me a bit of Kiki's Delivery Service. Wiya, a mage in training, has one big project to complete for school this year - hatch her pixie egg. Pixie eggs, it seems, only hatch when they hear a certain sound, a sound individual to each egg.  Wiya is sure she is going to fail as she watches the eggs of all her classmates hatch until she discovered something very special coming from the radio and a DJ with a magic voice.

The final story in Explorer: The Lost Islands is a real big fish story that ends in a very surprising way. Actually, I feel like all seven of these stories have superb surprise endings that I can't say too much about. Which is exactly why you need to run out and buy Explorer: The Lost Islands and Explorer: The Mystery Boxes if you don't already own it!

Source: Review Copy

To see ALL of Kazu's cover art (and back cover art) as well as the super cool boxed set with images of Hogsmeade, the Hogwarts Express, professors and students from the books, click HERE. Happily, I had a good reason to buy this new edition. My nine year old has just started listening to the audio books and he had a birthday, so I felt completely justified purchasing a fourth set of Rowling's books for him to read. I just hope he realizes those books are really mine...


Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

The Seeing Stick, written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Daniela J Terrazini

The Seeing Stick is an original Chinese fairy tale written by the prolific (and prolifically award winning) Jane Yolen. First published in 1977 with illustrations by Remy Charlip (author and illustrator of the brilliantly fun picture book Fortunately and friend and muse to Brian Selznick, who asked him to pose as George Méliès while he was working on the Caldecott winning The Invention of Hugo CabretThe Seeing Stick was reissued with new illustrations by Daniela J. Terrazini in 2009. I have not seen Charlip's version, but Terrazini's is a beautiful work of art and the book itself is yet another magnificently packaged book published by Running Press, the house that brought us Steven Arntson's The Wikkeling, yet another superbly and uniquely packaged children's book with artwork by Terrazini. Interestingly, both The Wikkeling and The Seeing Stick were designed by Frances J Soo Ping Chow.

The Seeing Stick begins, "Once in the ancient walled citadel of Peking there l…