Skip to main content

Explorer: The Hidden Doors, edited by Kazu Kibuishi, 128 pp, RL: 3


The Explorer series, edited by Kazu Kibuishi, just keeps getting better. Mystery boxes then lost islands provided the themes of the graphic shorts in he first two books. Now, with hidden doors setting the theme for the third book in the series, imaginations soar even higher, if possible. As always, Kibuishi kicks off the book with a short of his own. "Asteria Crane" will remind you of his superb Amulet series of graphic novels - the long awaited sixth book came out this summer - but it is so much more. 

Jason Caffoe, contributor to Explorer: The Mystery Boxes and Explorer: The Lost Islands, delivers an excellent story reminiscent of a Miyazaki movie with "The Giant's Kitchen" in which Briar, a young magician unsure of her abilities stumbles through a hidden door and into a hectic kitchen where she comes into her own.





Another favorite of mine, Jen Wang, tells a very sweet story with "Luis 2.0." Feeling like an outsider, Luis discovers a mysterious door in the woods that changes him into the guy he thinks he wants to be. When he finally talks to the girl he likes, he discovers something about the door that changes his mind.


Faith Erin Hicks, creator of the fantastic YA graphic novels Friends with Boys and Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong shares the story "Two-Person Door," with color by Noreen Rana. Wishing you were something you aren't, or somewhere you aren't, are themes of several of the stories in The Hidden Doors, and Hicks's story is stayed with me the longest.


Actually, all the stories in Explorer: The Hidden Doors will have you turning them over long after you finish reading. I am so grateful to Kazu Kibuishi, the talented graphic novelists he invites to contribute to this series and especially Abrams for publishing these great works! I hope this series continues long into the future.





Comments

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!

Be…

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…

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers remains the most read post on my blog since I wrote it in 2012. Because of this, I have cleaned up this post, tightened the writing and added in any pertinent information that has come about since it originally ran. When I first started books4yourkids.com in August of 2008, I was scrambling for content, finding my purpose and my voice and not always doing my best writing. How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers was one of the first articles I wrote and, as a bookseller and a book reviewer, and now as an elementary school librarian where I have gone from working with kids reading well beyond their grade level to kids reading well below, this philosophy remains my organizing principle and central focus when reading and recommending books to parents and children. 

In the interest of my mission and the attention this article continues to receive, I have updated and expanded this article and included a guide to using …