Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Weekly Graphic Novel Review: Yam: Bite-Size Chunks by Corey Barba

This graphic novel is made up of a series of completely wordless short episodes, most starring a cute, noseless, androgynous childlike creature named Yam, who is always dressed in what looks like a hooded and footed snowsuit. Yam, occasionally accompanied by its companion Marzipan Cat, has lots of mini-adventures. Yam makes friends with a cupcake, falls into a hole and sprouts as a flower, makes friends with a raincloud, grows a head full of flowers on a bald child, makes friends with flowers – you get the idea. These are all quite sweet, and some of them have funny or clever twists that will make kids laugh.
The first few short episodes are black and white, the next are in full-color, and then there is a lengthy black and white story. Finally, kids are shown how to draw Yam. The drawing style is reminiscent of Japanese manga, with lots of cute curves, adorable inanimate objects, and huge eyes. Several episodes were originally printed in Nickelodeon Magazine, meaning there might already be a fan base for Yam and its cohorts. This book would be wonderful for little kids and grown-ups to share together, perhaps taking turns “reading” the stories, and it’s a nice choice for beginning or reluctant readers as well.

Ages 3 - 7

P.S. Corey has a really fun blog. Illustrators and artists have a definite advantage when it comes to visually interesting blog posts...!

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