Check out this fun interactive link and read Harry Bliss's debut comic Luke on the Loose.
Louise, the Adventures of a Chicken. CD. 19:24 min. with hardcover book. Live Oak Media. 2009. ISBN 978-1-43010-688-3. $28.95.
PreS-Gr 2—Pirates! Shipwrecks! Lion attacks! Chicken-napping! Louise is a chicken with a yen for adventure. She slips away from the humdrum world of the farm and sets out to sea, only to be captured by pirates and nearly fricasseed. Home sounds good, but adventure calls again as she joins the circus and does a daring high-wire act that ends with her nearly becoming a lion's lunch. Again the farm seems a safe retreat, but when you have drumsticks itching for adventure you know you'll be off again. This time our saucy French hen follows in the footsteps of classic adventurers such as Indiana Jones, visits a fortune-teller, is captured by a tall dark stranger, and frees fellow chickens so that they, too, can cluck free! When she returns home, she tells the other chickens of her adventures and they are appropriately impressed and horrified. Home is a welcome, safe, refuge—but can Louise really settle down there? This delightful feathered frolic by Kate DiCamillo (HarperCollins/Joanna Cotler Books, 2008) is masterfully performed by Barbara Rosenblat who reads the story with fine pacing and energy and creates unique personalities, voices, and accents for each character. Light background music and sound effects make this a treat for the ears as well as the imagination. As students enjoy the vocal presentation, they can also peruse Harry Bliss's hilarious illustrations, filled with quirky details (some of which only adults will catch). This fine feathered feast for eyes and ears will be enjoyed by those with a thirst for adventure.—Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary School, Federal Way, WA
BLISS, Harry. Luke on the Loose map. ISBN 978-1-935179-00-9. LC number unavailable. ea vol: illus. by author. 32p. Toon Bks. 2009. Tr $12.95.
HAYES, Geoffrey. Benny and Penny in The Big No-No! CIP. May ISBN 978-0-9799238-9-0. LC 2008036307. ea vol: illus. by author. 32p. Toon Bks. 2009. Tr $12.95.
PreS-Gr 2–Bliss has created an ideal graphic novel for emerging readers. While his dad is engaged in “boring talk” with a friend, Luke notices a flock of pigeons and chases after them. The birds lead him out of Central Park through Manhattan and across the Brooklyn Bridge to a quiet rooftop. The cartoon panels are so successful at engaging readers that young children do not have to be able to read the text to enjoy the story. Each drawing is filled with humorous details. In one scene children see a man proposing to his girlfriend before Luke leaps over his café table. Though he creates havoc wherever he goes, he remains oblivious to everything but the pigeons he is chasing. Children will enjoy his rambunctious adventure as he takes them on a spirited tour of New York City. In Benny and Penny< /em>, the children are suspicious that their new neighbor has stolen Benny’s pail, so they sneak into her yard even though they know it’s a “big no-no!” Through many misunderstandings, they learn to apologize and make a new friend. The simple text uses basic vocabulary and repetition, making it accessible to emerging readers. Young children will love the graphic-novel format and the sweet, charming illustrations will draw them into the narrative. Fans of Geoffrey Hayes’s popular Benny and Penny: Just Pretend (Toon Bks., 2008) won’t be disappointed with this sequel.–Mari Pongkhamsing, St. Perpetua School, Lafayette, CA
Bliss's latest 'Toon Book' Luke on the Loose blog speak...