Skip to main content

5 Worlds: The Sand Warrior by Mark Siegel and Alexis Siegel, illustrated by Xanthe Bouma, Matt Rockefeller and Boya Sun, 256 pp, RL 4

The Sand Warrior is the much-anticipated first book in the 5 Worlds graphic novel series which has five creators. Mark Siegel, author and editorial director of my favorite graphic novel publisher, :01Books, and his brother Alexis Siegel head up the writing team with Xanthe Bouma, Matt Rockefeller, and Boya Sun. The Sand Warrior thrusts readers into the realm of the Five Worlds, starting on Mon Domani, the Mother World, a pastel colored, gently curving, planet.

We first meet Oona Lee, a student at the Sand Castle in the capital city of Chrysalis where she is training to be a sand dancer, although she seems to be the clumsiest student there. It is the eve of Beacon Day, which is when Oona's big sister and possibly the best sand dancer ever, disappeared. There is one Beacon on each of the Five Worlds, left there by the ancient Felid Gods for unknown purposes. There is also a legend about the lighting of the long-dark Beacons, a legend that could save the Five Worlds, which are experiencing diminishing resources, like water.

Next we meet An Tzu, a carrot-topped young urchin from the slums of Sao Sablo. An Tzu is sort of a Robin Hood, bringing water to his thirsty neighbors, some of whom are part human, part plant. The blue glove on An Tzu's right hand hides a mysterious illness that seems to be turning him invisible.

Beacon Day just happens to coincide with a much anticipated Starball tournament at the nearby stadium in Chrysalis where Jax Amboy, the Natural Boy, is everyone's favorite. He also finds himself teaming up with Oona and An Tzu when the Starball stadium is attacked. A dangerous, but fortuitous visit to Jax's Uncle Jep gives them clues to the many mysteries that abound in this fast paced graphic novel that leaves our trio headed to Toki, the Cobalt Kingdom that seems to be behind the attacks on Mon Domani.

Being a fan of the work of Mark Siegel both as an author, illustrator and editorial director, I was very excited to get my hands on The Sand Warrior, especially as it has been compared to Avatar: The Last Airbender, a show my whole family loves. I had to read through The Sand Warrior more than once, both to follow the intricacies of the rapid world building and fast pace of the story telling. I found myself wishing, more than once, for a prequel that would set up the story before the moment where The Sand Warrior bursts into non-stop action. The authors and illustrators have created an (or should I say five) amazing world and I would be so happy to spend more time in it. For now, I'll wait until next year when the second book, The Cobalt Prince, comes out!

Source: Purchased & Review Copy
(My review copy didn't show up when promised. Anxious to read this book, I ordered my own copy. They both showed up on the same day!)


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…