My son (age 8) came into my room one night with a very serious expression after having finished this graphic novel. “This was kind of scary and kind of sad and…here.” He had that glazed look of someone who’s just torn through a whole book, captivated, and hasn’t quite woken from it yet. Obviously, I was delighted.
So I read this, and then my daughter (age 11) read it. We were all similarly captivated, though clearly this is focused for children.
When gauging if this is a good choice for your child, you need to know that this is all kinds of scary with regards to parent danger. The graphic novel starts with a terrifying car accident that kills Emily’s father. The book picks up 2 years later when she, her mother, and her little brother Navin move to some rickety old home that’s been in the family for years. While exploring, Emily finds an amulet that transports the family to some other fantasy world where the mom is taken prisoner by this horrifying spider-octopus monster. Emily and Navin explore the world in an effort to help their mom, encountering both allies and other scary monsters.
So far your kid is having nightmares, right? Well, there is the gorgeous art and the quirky allies to comfort your reader. The children escape one monster by holding onto giant mushroom caps and using them as parachutes. One of the allies is a robotic pink bunny. Named Miskit. That’s the part where I said “Really?” but could understand how awesome that was for my kid. The whole thing had a very Alice In Wonderland vibe.
My quibble was the lack of words. Now, I know I’m very new to graphic novels. Saga is my first series. And I’m fine with my son loving graphic novels. They are works of art with rich plots and developed characters. But this had a WHOLE LOT of Thwack! Riipp! Glurgg! Not sure if that’s just par for the course with kids’ graphic novels. I’d like a little vocab development, y’know?
My son is already onto the next volume, and I’m waiting to see if he comes away with the same daze.