Saturday, April 30, 2011

Kid Konnection: Graphic Novel Series

Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. This week I'm going to share with you a few fun graphic novels that I've recently read.

Summary: Summer is drawing to a close, and the Zelnicks travel to the family farm in Minnesota for their vacation. Aldo’s mom is eager for him to experience the things she loved as a girl…shucking sweet corn, milking cows, gathering eggs. A week of FRESH AIR and living off the land!

But Aldo suspects that farm life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be...and it’s worse than he feared. The rooster wakes him at dawn, the chores nearly do him in, and Timothy and the cousins—identical twin pranksters—are in cahoots against him. Plus, the creepy, old portrait of his great-grandfather Aldo (the very one he’s named after) seems to be watching him from his frame on the wall…

All this without the comforts of TV or computer—because the Anderson farm is (gasp!) technology-free. 

Last year, I discovered an adorable graphic novel series by Karla Oceanak and illustrated by Kendra Spanjer about a very special kid -- Aldo Zelnick. Aldo isn't exactly a cool kid, but he has a great imagination and he's an awesome artist. He loves to draw and write in his "notebooks", and these "notebooks" are being published as very entertaining books for late elementary and early middle grade aged readers. 
I loved the first two books in the series -- ARTSY-FARTSY (my review) and  BOGUS (my review.) Both books were not only entertaining stories about Aldo and his antics, but they were also educational. Each book in this series features a letter of the alphabet and includes a glossary in the back of the book with loads of letter appropriate words! The third book in the series focuses on "C" words and is called CAHOOTS: AN ALDO ZELNICK COMIC NOVEL

In CAHOOTS, Aldo and his family head to their cousins' farm in Minnesota as part of their summer vacation. Aldo isn't the most outdoorsy-type guy so it's not exactly his dream trip. However, when he figures out that there are no electronic devices allowed and that he's expected to do chores on the farm, he's just plain miserable. And then to add insult to injury, his twin cousins are constantly pulling pranks on Aldo -- some involving animals and their excrement!

CAHOOTS was a fun-filled story just like the rest of the books in this series. I loved the message and the surprise ending, and I especially appreciated the glossary in the back of the book with all the "C" words. I loved Aldo's humorous drawings as well as his insights into his life; and I was glad to see that his cartoon strip, Bacon Boy, was back!

If you haven't seen this middle grade series yet, then I definitely suggest you do -- and soon! The books are full of laughs and also help kids learn some new vocabulary words. What a great combo!

Summary: The Breakfast Bunch is excited for the upcoming bake sale—and the best part is that it's raising money for an awesome field trip.  But when all the snacks go missing, it's no laughing matter.  Someone is sabotaging the bake sale.  But why?

Lunch Lady and the Breakfast Bunch are hot on the trail . . . one brownie crumb at a time. -- Knopf

LUNCH LADY AND THE BAKE SALE BANDIT by Jarrett J. Krosoczka is the fifth book in the Lunch Lady graphic novel series, and it has all the qualities that I've come to love from these books. It has terrific illustrations, a cute whodunit, and action packed fighting sequences. I can pretty much guarantee that this book will make reading fun for young kids ages 7 - 10.  Even the most reluctant of readers will look forward to reading about Lunch Lady and her very cool gadgets!

In LUNCH LADY AND THE BAKE SALE BANDIT, the kids are holding a bake sale to raise money for a future field trip. When the goodies go missing, Lunch Lady and the Breakfast Bunch are determined to find the culprit and save the day. Along the way, Lunch Lady and her sidekick have to battle the bad guy using some cool fighting moves and their kitchen-themed gadgets!

I can't tell you how much I love this series. The books are so cute, and they are a great mix of humor and mystery. If you are looking for a fun graphic novel for early readers, then I highly recommend checking out LUNCH LADY AND THE BAKE SALE BANDIT as well as the entire Lunch Lady series.

Thanks to the publishers for sending me copies of these books.

If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!


Anonymous said...

What great choices. I can't wait to get to know Aldo. He sounds like an amazing character.

Karlie said...

My stepson loves this series! I'm glad to see there is a new one to get.

bermudaonion said...

This both sound like winners to me! I'm glad to see more graphic novels for kids because I think they're great for reluctant readers.

Melissa Taylor said...

I love graphic novels, too. Do you like Dragonbreath?

Anonymous said...

Oh my, Cahoots sounds great, will check it out...hoping to get some Lunch Lady for our library too. The budget is thin right now...

Thanks for you Kid Konnection!