Friday, September 25, 2015

Tour: Interview: Fable Comics Anthology

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Fable Comics Anthology by Chris Duffy
Publisher: First Second Books
Release Date: September 22nd, 2015

From classics like "The Tortoise and the Hare" and "The Grasshopper and the Ants" to obscure gems like "The Frogs Who Desired a King," Fable Comics has something to offer every reader. Twenty-eight fables from different cultures and traditions are wonderfully adapted and illustrated in comics format by twenty-six different cartoonists. Edited by New York Times bestselling Fairy Tale Comics' Chris Duffy, this jacketed hardcover is a beautiful gift and an instant classic.

I'm really excited to be part of another First Second book tour. Today, I'm featuring Sophie Goldstein, one of the contributors to this anthology. I've always enjoyed learning about different fables and seeing different ones from varying cultures. Sophie Goldstein wrote "Leopard Drums Up Dinner."

Interview with Sophie Goldstein

Jessica @ Fly to Fiction: What was the most difficult part of adapting the fable into graphic novel form?

Sophie Goldstein: The original fable, "Leopard and the Other Animals" had the same fun twist at the end—the Deer revealing the Leopard's deceit—but the whole tone was much less goofy. Finding the humor in the set-up was my most important task. I also had a lot of fun researching African animals to populate the forest and attend the Leopard's party.

J: What was the most exciting part?

SG: Drawing animals! Most of my comics are about people, not talking leopards and vultures so this was a fun departure for me. I can see now why funny animal comics reigned supreme for so long!

J: How much does your writing process differ when writing for kids versus writing for older audiences? How does the way you present your message or story change?

SG: While there are some really excellent children's entertainments that deal with serious themes I like to see making comics for children as an opportunity to draw something cute and fun. The work I make for adults tends to deal with heavy subjects so it's a nice change for me.

J: What made you choose to illustrate this particular fable?

SG: The deer turning the tables on the leopard is a classic underdog story and the original fable already had them playing drums and singing so I felt that had a lot of potential. Leopards were also my favorite animal when I was a kid.
J: Either as a child or today, what is your favorite fable? Why?
SG: The fable of the Scorpion and the Frog (or sometimes, The Scorpion and the Turtle) is a well-known fable and one of my favorites. The moral is pretty dark but maybe that's why I like it so much. Here it is:
A scorpion asks a frog to carry it across a river. The frog hesitates, afraid of being stung, but the scorpion argues that if it did so, they would both drown. Considering this, the frog agrees, but midway across the river the scorpion does indeed sting the frog, dooming them both. When the frog asks the scorpion why, the scorpion replies that it was in its nature to do so. 


Monday, September 14, 2015

Music Monday (#13): Oceans by Seafret

Every other Monday, I'll share a song/artist/album that I'm either currently listening to or currently obsessed with, though they often go hand-in-hand. Some may have special themes or surprises. This means that I might share a playlist, fan!mix, Top Ten list, etc.

I've missed these non-bookish posts, so here's another music recommendation! I must admit that my next few recommendations will probably be songs on Spotify's "Your Favorite Coffeehouse" playlist, but anyway. Here's Seafret's Oceans. I didn't even know Maisie Williams was in the music video, so that's an added bonus. Let me know what you think!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Tour: Review: Little Robot by Ben Hatke (+giveaway)

Little Robot by Ben Hatke
Publisher: First Second Books
Release Date: September 1st, 2015
When a little girl finds an adorable robot in the woods, she presses a button and accidentally activates him for the first time. Now, she finally has a friend. But the big, bad robots are coming to collect the little guy for nefarious purposes, and it's all up to a five-year-old armed only with a wrench and a fierce loyalty to her mechanical friend to save the day!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book for review. This did not affect my review in any way, nor am I being compensated for it.

As soon as I heard about Little Robot, I knew I wanted to read it. I loved Hatke's Zita series, and I wanted to see more of his work. This one did not disappoint!

First, Little Robot is just so cute. It seems to be aimed at a younger audience than Zita was, but I still really enjoyed exploring the content of the book. Even though there are very few words (and most of the words are more onomatopoeia than anything), the images convey so much of the story and emotions. Hatke really allows the artwork to take the lead in this one. Because of its surface simplicity, this book is great for young children just starting to read. At the same time, the depth of the illustrations make it enjoyable for older audiences as well. The images really speak a thousand words.

I found that there wasn't a lot of substantive background or information on the world, the girl/her background, and the robots, but it wasn't a big deal and aren't the focus of the story. I did, however, want to highlight the main character, whose name we don't even know. Once again, Hatke seamlessly includes a female protagonist, this one a black female protagonist. It's so rare to see such representation in books for young children, particularly graphic novels, but Hatke always manages to do it well. It's not made into a big deal, but that's what is so amazing about it. In addition, I love how she gets to use her skills to solve problems. She takes things into her own hands, and she's smart and capable of solving her own problems. Again, we rarely see young females take this kind of lead and we rarely see them use their own smarts. I just love how Hatke doesn't make a big deal out of it--it's just a part of the story and a part of her character.

I absolutely adored Little Robot, and though I don't know if this one trumps the Zita series, this is one that shouldn't be missed, particularly if you're looking for books for young children/beginner readers.

Ends September 26th
~Must be 13 or older or have parent permission
~US only
~Winner must respond in 72 hours or a new winner will be chosen
~I am not responsible for lost packages. The book will be sent by the publisher.
~I don't accept entries made from giveaway accounts. Sorry!

All you have to do is tweet:
I want to win a copy of @BenHatke's Little Robot, featuring an amazing female PoC protagonist, from @FlytoFiction!
(or something similar)


Comment below and tell me your favorite children's book featuring a female and/or PoC as protagonist!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Month in Review: Summer 2015

These past two months have been really interesting. July was all about vacation and family, for better or for worse. August was a continuation and then it was about college and orientation and moving in and being on my own for the first time. I tried new things, did some of the same old stuff, etc.

Books I Read:


Other Posts:

1. I traveled abroad by myself for the first time.
2. I had an amazing vacation in Brazil.
3. I went to a camp with my older cousin and met some new and amazing people.
4. I moved into my dorm and started college! I've already made a few friends and have had a mixed but overall great first few days (as of writing this, my classes haven't started yet).
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