Leigh Luna has created a work of art with her first ever graphic novel. This new series is filled with inclusive language as it follows Clementine Fox, the self proclaimed professional amateur adventurer, through a fantastic adventure, while navigating growing up and dealing with teachers, bad grades and a voyage on a giant turtle.
Clementine’s adventure starts off as an everyday middle schooler. She has to go to school and deal with hard math tests, but has great friends that help her. She comes home to a fun and supportive family, with a mom that has a great sense of humor, and a younger math whiz brother who gives her a hard time, like any typical sibling does. Then she and her collection of unique friends decide to go on a real adventure by heading out to an isolated island to find Clementine’s great-aunt Marnie. Marnie has lots of rumors swirling around about her, including possibly being a witch. Jesse Otter, Nubbins Squirrel, Penelope Rabbit and Clementine skip the day of school and head out. They face all kinds of silly situations and creative fantasy style happenings. In the end their parents are understandably worried sick and the aunt that they visited never contacted the parents to let them know that their children were safe. This is brushed off as not a big deal because they had fun. Then the story somewhat abruptly ends. I was left puzzled by the conclusion.
The artwork is stunning throughout this graphic novel. Luna is clearly a gifted artist. The pages are full of creativity, and color. The characters are adorable and the pages use a wide variety of layouts.
Overall, this graphic novel wouldn’t be a bad addition to an elementary school library collection, however it’s definitely not an essential read. It excels at utilizing non offensive language and including a lot of diversity. The story has so much potential with beautifully done artwork; the details and colors make each page pop and a pleasure to look through. However, the humor falls flat and the story isn’t attention grabbing, nor does it end on a cliff hanger leading you into Clementine’s next adventure. Usually books intended for this age group include easy to recognize major themes and lessons for the child to take away, however this is another missing piece. It’s more of a light read without any depth.
Clementine Fox Vol. 1: Clementine Fox and the great island adventure
By Leigh Luna
Publisher Age Rating: 7-10
NFNT Age Recommendation: Middle Grade (7-11)