Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Graphic Novels (and Illustrated Novels)

Today's Top 5 Wednesday topic is Graphic Novels. 
This was a slight problem for me as, while I want to read more graphic novels, I haven't read that many that I have loved yet. 
In fact, in the above picture, Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale (illustrated by  Nathan Hale) is the only one that I have read and loved. It is such a fun re-telling.  
I bought Amulet Book One: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi because when I picked it up in the bookstore and read the first few pages I was hooked and wanted to finish it immediately. But then I was underwhelmed. The pictures are really good and the story is okay but as I have read the next few books (from the library) it seems to be dragging on. I think Abi might like it so I might have her try it out. 
The other three graphic novels pictured are all Abigail's. 
They are My Little Pony graphic novels and Phoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson. She has liked all of them, especially the My Little Pony ones but I haven't read them yet. 

As I thought about this post I decided that I didn't want to just write the above few paragraphs and leave it at that so I am switching it up a bit. 
Yesterday I went into the bookstore for one reason. To see the new illustrated Harry Potter and the Sorcerers's stone in person. 

It was gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous. I didn't buy it because it is pricey and it is ginormous. It is really large and hardback and so it is quite heavy. I am still thinking about it though and I might just have to get it anyway. So as I was thinking about this post and about the release of this amazing Harry Potter book, I started thinking about other novels that I have bought because of the illustrations in them. And that led to me setting them up for some pictures and sitting down to write about them.
Here they are: 

 #1: The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Illustrated by Michael Hague

I knew I needed to buy this book because we were reading it for book club and Doug absolutely loves the cartoon. It is one of his favorite things. I looked at a few versions of it and then went into the library book sale and saw this older, slightly tattered one and knew it was the book I wanted. 
The illustrations are magical, beautiful, and perfect for the book. 

 #2: The Invention of Hugo Cabret, written and illustrated by Brian Selznick

While this novel isn't as long as the others, it is still much more than a picture book. 
It is a really nice story and the pictures are so engaging. In fact, the illustrations were the only reason I picked this book up. It had just come out and I didn't know anything about it. I just bought it because it was so different and I really wanted to read it that day. I am glad I did. 

#3: Wonderbook, the Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction 
by Jeff Vandermeer

I was in a writing funk when I saw this book and I thought it sounded interesting and had such a beautiful, cool cover. It is actually non-fiction but it is quite a large book with a lot of information. Not all of the illustrations are by Jeff. There is also a lot of art in it. To be honest, while there was some great stuff in this book, I wouldn't buy it again. 

#4: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld 
Illustrated by Keith Thompson

I saw this book, the first in a trilogy, in Target a few years ago and I was instantly drawn to its steampunk feel on the cover and in the illustrations. I am so glad I bought it because it has become one of my favorite series. The art is really fun. 

#5: The Doldrums by Nicholas Gannon

I have not read this one yet. 
I just barely bought it on Friday. I bought it because of the cover and the illustrations exclusively. I hadn't heard anything about it. I asked one of the women in the bookstore if she had read it yet and she hadn't either but we both sat and gushed over the pictures throughout the book and the cool blurb. It sounds really good. When I got home I looked it up on Goodreads and it has some really positive feedback.  I hope I will love it as much as I love the artwork. 

*Do you have any graphic novels that you love?
*What are your favorite illustrated novels? 
*Would you buy any of these books based entirely on their illustrations?
*Are you going to buy the illustrated Harry Potter


Donna said...

I don't think I've really read that many graphic novels and we don't have very many, but we have an illustrated version of Chronicles of Narnia that is really nice. Wind in the Willows looks lovely, and that Harry Potter book looks amazing. I think you should get that! :)

cheryl said...

I really want to. I am going to think about it for awhile!
Ooh, you should take some pictures of your chronicles of narnia books.

The Kings said...

I really liked "Leviathan" and I like that new book you just bought! I have a cute book called "Edward The Emu" and I have always liked the artwork...and the story is so cute too.

cheryl said...

Love Edward the Emu! I remember you reading that to all the nephews and nieces when I was a teenager.