I absolutely love the Bad Guys books by Aaron Blabey. For a while now I’ve been looking for something else to suggest to kids that is similar to the Bad Guys, both in the way that the story is told and the humour. I’ve found the perfect book in James Foley’s new junior graphic novel, Brobot.
Sally Tinker makes machines … and Joe Tinker breaks them. As the world’s foremost inventor under the age of twelve, Sally knows she can build a better brother than Joe. But is her invention – Brobot – really all that a brother should be?
Brobot is a hilarious junior graphic novel about a girl and her search for the perfect brother. There is something in this book for everyone – annoying brothers who destroy everything, inventions, robots, toxic nappies, destruction and a whole lot of laughs. I’m sure a lot of kids will relate to Sally and her problems with her annoying little brother.
I loved James Foley’s previous book, My Dead Bunny (with Sigi Cohen) and I’ve been following the development of Brobot for a while, so it’s great to finally read it. The story is really funny by itself but the comic illustrations add to the laughs. Sally’s human brother Joe doesn’t even say anything and he still makes you laugh. The facial expressions of Sally and Joe are enough to make you crack up sometimes. I especially love Sally’s name, which she shortens to S. Tinker Inc.
Although it’s a graphic novel it’s a chapter book format so I’ll be shelving it with my younger fiction, just like the Bad Guys series.
Brobot is perfect for anyone who likes Aaron Blabey, Kyle Mewburn or just a really funny read.
Check out this great book trailer for Brobot too:
It’s been a bit quiet on My Best Friends Are Book lately as I’ve been settling in to my new role as a school librarian. I’m catching up on books I’ve missed and I’ll try and post lots over the school holidays. Anyway, here is an exciting new competition for you!
I got to attend the IBBY Congress in Auckland last month and one of the authors that I met was graphic novelist Raina Telgemeier. Raina is the creator of such awesome graphic novels as Smile, Sisters and Drama, and she has also adapted some of The Babysitters Club stories into graphic novels. While at IBBY I got a copy of Smile signed (and doodled in) by Raina to give away on the blog.
All you have to do to enter is email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject ‘Smile,’ along with your name and address. I will draw a winner at random. Competition closes Friday 30 September (NZ only).
Aaron Blabey writes very funny picture books. His picture books about Pig the Pug and Thelma the Unicorn are hilarious and are some of my favourite picture books. I was excited when I heard that Aaron Blabey was going to be publishing a series of books for older children, called The Bad Guys. The first book in the series, Episode One, is out now and it is absolutely brilliant!
They sound like the Bad Guys, they look like the Bad Guys . . . and they even smell like the Bad Guys. But Mr Wolf, Mr Piranha, Mr Snake and Mr Shark are about to change all of that! Mr Wolf has a daring plan for the Bad Guys’ first good mission. The gang are going to break 200 dogs out of the Maximum Security City Dog Pound. Will Operation Dog Pound go smoothly? Will the Bad Guys become the Good Guys? And will Mr Snake please spit out Mr Piranha?
The Bad Guys: Episode One is a short, witty and incredibly funny book that will have you laughing out loud. It’s the sort of book that makes you laugh all the way through. The humour works on different levels so – there is lots to make younger kids laugh but adults will get some jokes that kids might not.
The story focuses on a group of animals who are always thought of as bad guys – Mr Wolf, Mr Snake, Mr Piranha and Mr Shark. They get a pretty bad rap, from attempting to eat old women to eating anything and anybody. Mr Wolf is sick of being misunderstood so he calls his friends together and they set out to prove they can be good guys. Their plans never quite seem to go as planned and have hilarious consequences.
There are so many things I love about The Bad Guys! The way that Aaron tells the story draws the reader in, with Mr Wolf speaking directly to the reader at the start of the book. It’s a cross between a graphic novel and a chapter book, with sparse text and funny illustrations, so will appeal to beginner readers right through to older children. I love Aaron Blabey’s illustrations because his characters are so expressive and it’s the combination of these illustrations and the text that make this book so funny.
The Bad Guys begs to be read aloud so grab a copy of Episode 1 and laugh along with your children as you introduce them to the bad guys who just want to be good.
Hardie Grant Egmont, the publishers that brought you the Go Girl and Zac Power series, has just released an exciting new graphic novel series for young readers. Super Baddies is a comic-style series all about heroes and villains, but instead of being all about the goodies, these books are all about the baddies. The first book, Baddies vs. Goodies introduces you to the characters and the world that they live in. You meet Giant Boy, Scorcher, Sand Storm, Mean Streak, Frosty, Bad Mads, and my favourite, Piranha Face. So far there are two books in the series, Baddies vs. Goodies and When Robots Go Bad, but there are more to come and each one focuses on a different Baddie.
They’re a great way to hook readers in to graphic novels, because they’re bright, fun, and easy to read. Simon Swingler’s cartoon-style illustrations will really appeal to young readers. He doesn’t make the pages too busy, so it’s easy enough for younger children to follow the story. Those kids that like Zac Power will surely love this series, and they’ll hook those kids that supposedly ‘hate reading.’ The covers are eye-catching and kids will be lining up to get their hands on them. Baddies vs. Goodies even has the added extra of a super test you can take to figure out if you’re a Baddie or a Goodie.
Meet Scorcher, the Baddie featured in Baddies vs. Goodies:
Go out and grab the Super Baddies series for the little Baddie in your life. Book 1 and 2 are available now.
Enter my competition to win a Super Baddies Prize Pack.
Ghostopolis by Doug TenNapelis about a boy called Garth Hale who gets accidentally zapped into the ghost world by Frank Gallows, an agent for the Supernatural Immigration Task Force. Frank has messed up big time and gets fired from his job, but he promises Garth’s mum that he’ll find him in the ghost world and bring him home. Meanwhile, in the ghost world Garth makes friends with Skinny, a skeleton horse, and a ghost boy who just happens to be his grandpa. They meet all of the groups that inhabit Ghostopolis, including the Mummies, the Wisps, the Specters, the Zombies, the Boogeymen and the Bone People. Soon they’re on the run from Vaugner the evil ruler of Ghostopolis, who wants to use Garth’s newly discovered abilities to increase his control of the spirit world. Will Garth find a way home and will Frank Gallows keep his promise? Find out in Ghostopolis.
Ghostopolis is a spooky, adventure-filled story with plenty of laughs thrown in. I really liked Doug TenNapel’s style of illustration because it’s colourful and the panels are not overcrowded with detail. I particularly like how Doug has presented his characters (Frank Gallows looks worried alot of the time, Vaugner just looks plain evil with his blank eyes and spiky hair, and Garth just looks like an ordinary kid). If you like graphic novels like Tintin, Asterix or The Rainbow Orchid and want something a little different, you’ll love Ghostopolis.