Glister by Andi Watson, 292 pp. RL 3
Purchased from Barnes & Noble
Story: "Strange things happen around Glister Butterworth," reads the tagline for this marvelous collection of stories. Glister, a "magnet for the odd and peculiar," lives on her family's English estate, Chilblain Hall, a very draughty place, with her father. Taking oddities in stride, Glister finds she often has to set things straight by getting to the bottom of the ghostly curiosities that abound. In "The Haunted Teapot," the ghost of an author trapped in a teapot demands Glister finish writing, with his dictation, the masterpiece he was working on when he died. Working to free herself from his grip, she makes a surprising discovery. In "The House Hunt," Chilblain Hall, which is a living entity and somewhat sensitive, never comfortable in its own skin and, "like a chameleon spinning through the colour wheel or a peacock rearranging its feathers." When a village inspector speaks dismissively of the house, it slumps in despair and then packs up and leaves! Glister also makes a perilous trip to Faerieland to search for her disappeared mother and deals with a family tree that won't stop growing.
Pictures: Watson's illustrations are magnificent! Each story is rendered in a different color and always charming, even when things get a little creepy. Panels are usually large, making this a good option for younger readers, although there is often a lot going on on every page. I especially love that Watson includes fantastic activities and crafts at the end of the book. There is a word search, a family tree to fill in, a paper doll set, and instructions for making a faerie head, a skittles game and a cannon (paper, that is...)
Why Read? Why Buy?: Glister is the perfect graphic novel for young readers who like fantasy and smart, brave main characters. From the stories to the illustrations to the activities at the end of the book, everything about this collection is quality. And, at almost 300 pages, this will keep your voracious readers engaged for a bit longer than the usual graphic novel!