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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: TOON Books, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 49
1. The Great Antonio by Elise Gravel, 64pp, RL 2



The Great Antonio is Elise Gravel's loving tribute to Antonio Barichievich, the Croatian born strong man who was a Montreal fixture for many years. The Great Antonio is also yet another superb beginning reader from the fantastic TOON Books. Gravel begins this fanciful story of the life of this giant of a man speculating about his possible parentage and wondering about his childhood in Croatia. This may seem like an odd subject for a beginning reader, but Gravel tells Antonio's story with a playful tone that is immediately engaging.


To show readers just how HUGE Antonio was, she shows his clothes (a cat could sleep in his shoe, but it was quite smelly) and his eating habits. She also shows reader the various opponents he wrestled and the many enormous, heaving things he lifted and pulled.




 Antonio was larger than life and stories about him border on the unbelievable. Reading Gravel's author notes at the end of the book helped me get a perspective on this strange - for a beginning reader, anyway - story. Gravel shares that one of her favorite authors is Roald Dahl, who "got her interested in unusual people and animals," saying that she is, "attracted to anyone who is STRANGE or FUNNY." Growing up in Montreal, Gravel was very familiar with this strange and funny man. Like Sampson, Antonio had magnificent hair - long, thick dreadlocks that fell to the ground and were often used to pull buses. Or, Antonio would put metal in his braids and use them as golf clubs and more.



Gravel gives The Great Antonio the feel of a tall tale, speculating about his life and his feats but also respectfully sharing the stranger aspects of it. Near the end of his life, Antonio chose to live on the streets of Montreal, using a donut shop as his office. Gravel tells readers that, when he died, a mountain of flowers was left at his favorite table at the donut shop. Antonio himself may have created this air of mystery about himself, lending to his larger than life persona. In her author notes, Gravel shares that, after his death, many of his "wild stories" were proven to be true!


Source: Review Copy

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2. Benny and Penny in How to Say Goodbye by Geoffrey Hayes, 32 pp, RL 2


Benny and Penny in How to Say Goodbye is the sixth book featuring these bickering siblings and, as always, Geoffrey Hayes captures the intense and fleeting emotions that young children feel and how they make sense of the world around them perfectly. And, as always, his illustrations are marvelously charming and the natural world that the mice live in gently beautiful. Hayes's graphic novel series is perfect for emerging readers looking for something beyond Frog & Toad and Amelia Bedelia.


In How to Say Goodbye, Hayes has his mice brother and sister encounter death. While playing together in the fall leaves, Penny finds a salamander she named Little Red. She knows that it is dead, having a grasp of what death it. Benny reacts with anger, throwing the salamander into the bushes.


Penny gets help from Melina and the two make plans for Little Red, Benny skulking around the edges of their activities. As the they prepare for the burial, Benny and Penny have memories of Little Red, each feeling their grief in their own ways. They also find ways to honor the life of the salamander. As the story draws to an end, another salamander appears and a new friendship begins.



You can read my reviews of other 
Benny & Penny books here





Source: Review Copy


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3. Ape and Armadillo Take Over the World by James Sturm, 40 pp, RL 2


Ape and Armadillo Take Over the World by James Sturm is my new favorite book. I fell in love with TOON Books when I discovered them in 2008, just around the time my youngest was learning to read. Having been through this process with my two older children, I was not looking forward to the tired old leveled readers that we were left to slog through after classics like Frog & Toad, Little Bear and Poppleton. Françoise Mouly and her quest to bring engaging, marvelously illustrated graphic novels into the world of beginning readers has meant that there are now over 50 fantastic books to take your new reader from sight words to chapter books. 

















If you have read even a few beginning readers, you know that unlikely friends and the complexities of friendship are the staple of this genre. With Ape and Armadillo, Sturm has created the only duo who could even remotely rival Frog and Toad. And an armadillo! How many armadillo characters are there in kid's books to begin with? Happily, the title page shows Ape juggling, a curled up Armadillo among the balls in the air. Sturm's illustrations are superb - crisp and colorful and filled with motion and emotion.


Armadillo is a little guy with big ideas. Ape, his opposite, is more thoughtful and compassionate. When Ape and Armadillo Take Over the World begins, we find Ape taking issue with Armadillo's plan for world domination. While Armadillo does things fly away on the royal Pegasus, Ape has to distract a spitting serpent, fight an army of robots and escape through the sewer tunnels of the castle. Armadillo counters, saying that he is the one who thought up this plan and having ideas is not so easy. When Ape tries to come up with a plan (that involves kids, an ice cream shop, juggling Armadillo and hiding in tubs of ice cream) Armadillo shoots him down. But, like all good friends, the two manage to find common ground, coming up with a phenomenal plan for world domination that involves special suits, magic wands, creating a zoo filled only with really cool animals like griffins, dinosaurs and giant bugs and ending with ice cream. Because, as Ape points out, he likes a lot of the people in the world and doesn't want to rule it or blow it up.





The best part of Ape and Armadillo Take Over the World? Sturm includes bonus comic strips that run at the bottom of every page, giving readers a glimpse into the personalities of the main characters. Ape and Armadillo embody the creative imagination of kids, a creativity that is not bound by logic or physical limitations.

Read my reviews of the 
Adventures in Cartooning Series here










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4. Benjamin Bear in Brain Storms! by Philippe Coudray

Hopefully by the publication of Benjamin Bear in Brain Storms!, you know Philippe Coudray's creatively thinking bear and his forest full of friends. Benjamin Bear in Fuzzy Thinking, came out in 2011 and is now in paperback and Benjamin Bear in Bright Ideas! in 2013. If you have never had the pleasure of meeting Benjamin Bear on the page, quotes from these reviews create a perfect picture.

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5. Lost in NYC: A Subway Adventure by Nadja Spiegelman & Sergio García Sánchez, RL: 2

Something that I adore and deeply appreciate about TOON Books is the attention to detail that goes into each book. Of course the writing and illustrations are exemplary. The packaging is superb, from the trim size to the recognizable TOON wallpaper pattern that appears on the spine to the way that the books look so wonderful lined up on the shelf. TOON Books are so visually appealing and

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6. Flop to the Top by Eleanor Davis & Drew Weing, 36pp, RL 2

Eleanor Davis has created two of my all-time favorite graphic novels, the multiple award winning Stinky, one of the first TOON Books published in 2008, and Secret Science Alliance, which came out in 2009. After creating art and a graphic novel for adults, Davis and fellow graphic novelist and husband Drew Weing  have teamed up with each other and TOON Books to bring us Flop to the Top.

0 Comments on Flop to the Top by Eleanor Davis & Drew Weing, 36pp, RL 2 as of 9/16/2015 4:02:00 AM
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7. Witten and Drawn by Henrietta by Liniers, 64pp, RL 2

Written and Drawn by Henrietta by the Argentine cartoonist Liniers is a treat to read, bringing back the excitement I feel when I see a brand new box of colored pencils and a crisp, white page as well as the occasional, immobilizing dread that comes with creating. Liniers treats us to his view of Henrietta as she writes and illustrates a story as well as Henrietta's story itself, as

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8. INTERVIEW: Frank Viva on Narrative Experimentation and Graphic Design in SEA CHANGE

VVBBannerFrancoise Mouly "said to me on several occasions that she doesn’t really want to be doing what other book publishers are doing. Why should I? There’s lots of them out there doing that. Let’s try some new stuff. That is her attitude. She loves experimentation."

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9. BLIP! by Barnaby Richards, 40 pp, RL 1.5


BLIP! by Barnaby Richards is a fantastic new TOON Book at the essential Level 1. Featuring a robot, I was drawn to BLIP! immediately. The story begins on the endpapers as we a spaceship floating through the galaxy. "Blip," goes the ship. Until it goes, "Tchok!" when it hits a mountain on a planet.




The robot climbs out of his his ship and begins to explore, always saying, "Blip," sometimes as statement, an exclamation or even a question. Richards's planet is a strange one, filled with curious details that you will want to spend time with. The robot goes over land and under water, meeting all kinds of creatures, even a human.



Finally, the robot returns to the ship only to find another robot working on another ship! The two exchange "blips" and "bleeps" and head off, back into space.

Blip! is a fantastic introduction to the sequential art of the graphic novel and it is also (as are all the books TOON publishes) a superb example of what founder François Mouly started out to do in 2008 - created beginning readers with engaging illustrations and stories that are anything but boring.

Source: Review Copy

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10. Benjamin Bear in Bright Ideas!, by Philippe Coudray, RL 1.5

<!-- START INTERCHANGE - BENJAMIN BEAR IN BRIGHT IDEAS -->if(!window.igic__){window.igic__={};var d=document;var s=d.createElement("script");s.src="http://iangilman.com/interchange/js/widget.js";d.body.appendChild(s);} <!-- END INTERCHANGE --> When Philippe Courdray's Benjamin Bear in Fuzzy Thinking was released in August of 2011, it was a big hit in my home, one of the first books my

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11. Love TOON

TOON Books offers 11 of their titles for FREE online viewing.  AWESOME for young readers, these books have a Read to Me option for younger kids, too.   I love TOON.



The TOON library is all part of Professor Garfield's website.  (That's Garfield, as in the orange cat?)  Check it out.  It looks like fun.

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12. Two Ways to Win TOON BOOKS! CONTESTS END MARCH 30!!!

TWO TIPPY AND THE NIGHT PARADE  CONTESTS @ TOON BOOKS!! In February, I reviewed the fantastic new book from TOON, Tippy and the Night Parade by Lilli Carré. You can read my review here. But, you don't have to had read Tippy and the Night Parade to enter either of these contests! FOLLOW THIS LINK TO ENTER BOTH CONTESTS! Contest #1 Tippy wakes up in the morning to find her

0 Comments on Two Ways to Win TOON BOOKS! CONTESTS END MARCH 30!!! as of 3/23/2014 1:45:00 AM
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13. Toon Books' Hansel & Gretel

Check out a beautiful, new children's book, 'Hansel & Gretel' by Neil Gaiman and Lorenzo Mattotti, published by Toon Books and (New Yorker art editor) Francoise Mouly…




...read more at PublishersWeekly...

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14. Hansel & Gretel by Neil Gaiman and Lorenzo Mattotti

Hansel & Gretel, written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Lorenzo Mattiotti is the newest release from TOON Graphics, a line of graphic novels for kids reading at 3rd grade level and above, launched by the superb François Mouly and the fantastic people at TOON Books. What Gaiman and Mattotti do with a very familiar fairy tale in their rendition is amazing, both for the spare starkness of

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15. Cast Away on the Letter A : A Philemon Adventure by Fred, translated by Richard Kutner, RL: 3

Cast Away on the Letter A by Fred, the pseudonym of Frédéric Aristidès, creator of one of the most famous graphic novel series in France (did you know that the French have long been huge graphic novel fans?) was originally published in 1972. This is the first time it has been translated in English, thanks to the amazing François Mouly and the fantastic people at TOON Books who are

0 Comments on Cast Away on the Letter A : A Philemon Adventure by Fred, translated by Richard Kutner, RL: 3 as of 11/26/2014 4:44:00 AM
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16. Gift Guide: TOON Books gift sets and sale

s558472801427611443 p9 i2 w1632 Gift Guide: TOON Books gift sets and sale

It’s gifting time, and the Beat team is showcasing some suitable gifts for everyone in your family.

Among those are theseTOON Books gift sets which are now 33% off. Toon Books, the line of comics for young readers edited by Francoise Mouly, offers a whole rage of books at different reading levels—the set shown above, Level 2, is for beginning readers, but other sets target pre-readers and middle grade level kids. The new Toon Graphics line is for all ages. The books are all comics so they instill comics reading at an impressionable age. Best of all, the stories and art are by some of the best in the business: Jeff Smith, Eleanor Davis, Rutu Modan, Jeffrey Hayes, Liniers, R. Kikuo Johnson, Lorenzo Mattotti, Jay Lynch and many more.

You really can’t go wrong with any of these books as a gift for a young reader (or even just a comics art fan) of your acquaintance. Among those books suitable for the latter, we’d suggest Frank Viola’s gorgeous A Trip to the Bottom of the World with Mouse and of course the Gaiman/MattottiHansel and Gretel, which is a suitable gift for just about anyone.

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17. Toon! Toon! TOON!

Bless you, TOON, for the lovely box of new graphic novels!  You publish some of the best highly illustrated kids' lit out there.

Written and Drawn by Henrietta, a TOON Book by LINIERS, is my favorite of this bunch.  "A box of colored pencils is as close as you can get to owning a piece of the rainbow", Henrietta tells her cat, Fellini.  Henrietta sits down to write and draw the amazing story of "The Monster with Three Heads and Two Hats."  We see Henrietta's drawings and we see her reactions to her own imagination and the whole thing is fun and funny and delightful. 

Flop to the Top!, a TOON book by Eleanor Davis & Drew Weing.  Wanda is a Superstar and she knows it.  When she goes online and posts a picture with her floppy dog, Wilbur, the Internet goes crazy.  Wilbur is a HUGE hit.  Wanda is not happy for his fame.  Young readers will get a kick out of attention hog Wanda's disappointment and of Wilbur's response to fame and fortune.  The ending is super cool, too.

Check back soon for reviews of my other TOON swag.


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18. Busy like a beaver!

I have been telling stories and having so much fun in the last two weeks that I have not had time to post here. I promised you TOON reviews and with the Eisner Awards recently announced, I must comply.
  
TOON will NOT be left behind. They have produced  Little Nemo's Big New Dreams, edited by Josh O'Neil, Andrew Carl and Chris Stevens.   Poor Little Nemo! He's been having incredibly active dreams since 1905 when his comic strip was first designed by Windsor McCay.

Little Nemo's Big New Dreams: A TOON GraphicEach double page spread of Big New Dreams offers a Little Nemo Slumberland adventure as envisioned by a different graphic artist.  Most are paneled but some are simply large illustrations that still manage to tell a story.  Little Nemo is clearly identified in each story but the artists' styles vary widely.

I can imagine so many different ways to use this colorful book - besides just reading the stories. 

Well, I have another telling event this evening and need to prepare so stay TOON for my next TOON review and a possible GIVEAWAY!

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19. TOON at last

 Picture

Windmill Dragons :A Leah and Alan Adventure by David Nytra is a celebration of the imagination in detailed black and white.  Leah tells Alan a story that starts with windmills that turn into dragons.  Suddenly, Leah and Alan are fighting these monsters.   A giant chicken, St. George, a trick with a bit of string and a man-eating boat lead Alan and Leah on a wild adventure.  Just wait until you see what caused all the ruckus.
    Nytra adds an illustrated bibliography of sorts to help his readers understand some of the literary references in this wild and crazy comic book.

The Suspended Castle : a Philemon Adventure  by FRED.  OK. Philemon and his adventures make me itchy.  But if you enjoy the surreal, you will love Philemon.  Back in the 1960s, Philemon fell down a well and into a land that was shaped like an "A".  With the help of Mr. Bartholomew, Philemon got back to France.
     Now, Mr. Bartholomew is so bored, he wants to return to his life on a letter in the middle of the ocean (on a globe - you know one those spinning things?  I told you - surreal! Or maybe it was on a map.)  Thank goodness, Phil's Uncle Felix knows what to do.  You see, he just gets Phil to inflate this seashell....
     Well, Bartholomew and Phil both end up on the dot on the letter "i" and from there it just gets wilder and crazier - with owls that turn into lighthouses and whales with oars and mutinies and buccaneers who sail the skies in wooden pelican bills - or something - and of course, the suspended castle from the title.
   The artwork is colorful and suitably cartoonish.  The last two pages gives a bio of Fred (Frederic Othon Aristides) and background on his inspirations for this story. 

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20. TOON Books! TOON Books! TOON Books!

It has been a struggle to keep up with book reviews and related blog duties during this, my first full year as an elementary school librarian. Every day, I would come home from work, staying much later (and off the clock) than I intended and look, both longingly and sadly, at the stacks of amazing books on my desk waiting to be read and reviewed. One especially sad moment was realizing that I

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21. We Dig Worms! by Kevin McCloskey, RL 1.5

There are SO MANY super cool things about this new TOON Book We Dig Worms! by Kevin McCloskey I don't know where to start. How about the beginning? We Dig Worms! came about when McCloskey, who teaches illustration at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania, was asked for a "fun worm book" by his wife, a librarian. What McCloskey created is a fantastic non-fiction book that, while filled with great

0 Comments on We Dig Worms! by Kevin McCloskey, RL 1.5 as of 7/27/2015 5:28:00 AM
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22. Thanks to My Readers for Sharing Pictures of YOUR Readers! And thanks to TOON for all the amazing books!!!

2 Comments on Thanks to My Readers for Sharing Pictures of YOUR Readers! And thanks to TOON for all the amazing books!!!, last added: 3/1/2013
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23. Benjamin Bear in Bright Ideas

TOON Books offers some of the liveliest picture books out there.   Benjamin Bear in Bright Ideas by Philippe Coudray is just one of the colorful comic style books put out by TOON.  Each page is divided into several panels and tells a complete story.  Watch above to see how easily the stories can fit in with Common Core standards.  (Warning: Since this video is "educational", the presentation is much more static than the book.) 

Benjamin's adventures are sometimes funny, sometimes head-scratching, but all delightfully illustrated with a slightly retro vibe.  The stories are designed for early readers and budding logicians ages 4 and up.


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24. Benjamin Bear in Fuzzy Thinking, written and illustrated by Philippe Coudray, 31 pp, RL 1.5

BENJAMIN BEAR in Fuzzy Thinking  is NOW IN PAPERBACK!!! TOON BOOKS hits another home run with their latest offering, Benjamin Bear in Fuzzy Thinking by Philippe Coudray. This book had me and my son in stitches when read it together. If you can imagine a little bit of the zaniness of Elephant & Piggie rubbing off on the bear from I Want My Hat Back who has chosen to befriend rabbits, not

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25. Barry's Best Buddy by Renée French

<!-- START INTERCHANGE - BARRY'S BEST BUDDY -->if(!window.igic__){window.igic__={};var d=document;var s=d.createElement("script");s.src="http://iangilman.com/interchange/js/widget.js";d.body.appendChild(s);} <!-- END INTERCHANGE --> Something I especially love about TOON Books is the exposure I get to the works of acclaimed cartoonists from all over the world and the slightly left of

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