Sir Ladybug

Tiny hero Sir Ladybug and his friends are always in search of a grand quest, aiming for truth and justice to be served, with a laugh or two along the way. Here, we have a brand new graphic novel series to add to your elementary library collection.

This tale starts off with lots of comedy, as we’re introduced to Sir Ladybug, Pell the herald (a bug who hollers about things) and Sterling the snail. These chatty friends are in search of a worthy quest when one stumbles upon them, but it turns out to be a much bigger quest than they were expecting or hoping for. They have to keep their wits, so that they can stick together to face this big monster, or, as it’s more commonly known, a Chick-a-dee. They all take cover in Sterling’s snail shell which turns out to be quite the spacious abode, with a hot tub room and a vroom closet. However, they quickly find themselves stir crazy and work to hatch a plan to get out of the shell safely. The plan, of course, involves cake. This delightful and short story closes with more cute comedy. 

Adorable bugs, birds and snails fill the pages of this children’s comic, with a simple color palette of just a handful of shades used throughout the entire work. Full page chapter title pages divide up the story, and are filled with subtle jokes, foreshadowing, and fun. Corey R. Tabor, winner of the prestigious American Library Association’s Theodor Seuss Geisel Award, brings his experience creating imaginative adventures with plucky little birds and zooming foxes to life for young readers. 

The Sir Ladybug series is off to a strong start. I see a lot of potential for silliness from these characters in the future installments. I would highly recommend adding this comic book to your collection. It’s a wonderful short read about friendship, working together through big challenges, and cake.

Sir Ladybug
By Corey R. Tabor
Balzer + Bray, 2022
ISBN: 9780063069060
Publisher Age Rating: 6 – 10

NFNT Age Recommendation: Easy Readers (5-9), Middle Grade (7-11), Picture Books (3-8)

Almost American Girl

For as long as she can remember, it’s been Robin and her mom against the world. Growing up in the 1990s as the only child of a single mother in Seoul, Korea, wasn’t always easy, but it has bonded them fiercely together.

So when a vacation to visit friends in Huntsville, Alabama, unexpectedly becomes a permanent relocation—following her mother’s announcement that she’s getting married—Robin is devastated. Overnight, her life changes. She is dropped into a new school where she doesn’t understand the language and struggles to keep up. She is completely cut off from her friends at home and has no access to her beloved comics. At home, she doesn’t fit in with her new stepfamily. And worst of all, she is furious with the one person she is closest to—her mother.

Then one day Robin’s mother enrolls her in a local comic drawing class, which opens the window to a future Robin could never have imagined.

(Publisher Description)

Almost American Girl
By Robin Ha
ISBN: 9780062685094
Balzer + Bray, 2020
NFNT Age Recommdnation: Teen (13-16)

Our Review

Almost American Girl

Unsolved Case Files: Escape at 10,000 Feet: D.B. Cooper and the Missing Money

In the first book in a new a new graphic novel nonfiction series, Unsolved Case Files, Sullivan retells the incredible and completely true story of the only unsolved airplane hijacking case in the entire history of the United States. 

Readers are taken chronologically, step-by-step through D.B. Cooper’s plan to obtain $200,000 USD by hijacking an airplane with an onboard bomb. Suspense is created by showing how stressful this situation was for the Northwest Orient Airlines staff, as well as to all those who were on the ground racing to assist with the situation. It ends on a mysterious note, as no one has all the pieces to this puzzle. The most likely theories of what happened, and who D. B. Cooper was are presented. The book concludes with a page of sources that were used to gather all the information to put this retelling together. This is an excellent tool for educators to utilize to encourage students to dig deeper. 

Author Tom Sullivan does an outstanding job of keeping the reader turning pages to see what happens next, and excels at immersing the reader into the 1970s. Pink sticky notes throughout the book give concise explanations of things like teletypewriters, how crazy the world was about letting everyone smoke wherever they wanted including airplanes and hospitals, and the absolute lack of security at airports. It’s hard to imagine this reality today. Additionally, sidebars and notes are added that give easy to understand descriptions behind the physics of flight, different types of parachutes, and all kinds of details that provide the reader with a much deeper understanding of what this whole event would’ve felt like.

The artistic style of this book is fun and completely appropriate for the topic. The entire book is enclosed in a yellow folder as if you’re opening an old police file. Inside reader’s discover scrapbook style pages, and full page artwork rather than the typical panel style often found in comics. Sticky notes, images of real evidence paper clipped in such as boarding passes and airplane schematics, maps, and diagrams provide variety across this publication. Typewriter style font adds to the authenticity of the early 1970s time period. Colors are used to intensify the drama of scenes, such as when D.B. Cooper is jumping out of the plane, the whole scene is pitch black, adding emotion to what a terrifying experience it must’ve been to actually make that jump.

Overall, this book is outstanding. Nonfiction books tend to have the reputation of being on the boring side, but this book is far from being dull. Sullivan expertly weaves together this true story, while adding in facts and explanations that somehow heighten the tension, rather than bog it down with too much detail. It’s a quick read that generates endless discussion questions. I highly recommend not only buying this book, but also keeping an eye out for the next installment, Jailbreak at Alcatraz, which isn’t yet published.

Unsolved Case Files: Escape at 10,000 Feet: D.B. Cooper and the Missing Money 
By Tom Sullivan
ISBN: 9780062991515
Balzer + Bray, 2021
Publisher Age Rating: 8-12
Series ISBNS and Order

Title Details and Representation
NFNT Age Recommendation: Middle Grade (7-11), Tween (10-13)