Canadian Graphic Novels

Canadian Graphic Novels for Children and Young Adults

2014 updates completed here thanks to research assistants Jeff Burton, Jing Jin, and Shaune Koshinsky for their assistance with the bibliographies as well as Ibby Canada for the support of the Frances Russell Research Grant.

Brenna, 2014

Bibliography

***If you know of a missing title, please contact Bev at bev.brenna@usask.ca

Barel, D. (2012). That One Spooky Night. Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press.

Berg, S. (2007). Let That Bad Air Out: Buddy Bolden’s Last Parade: A Novel in Linocut. Erin, ON: The Porcupine’s Quill.

Bergeron, A., Quintin, M., Sempar. (2013). Do You Know Chameleons? (Sempar, Illustrator). Markham, ON: Fitzhenry & Whiteside.

Bergeron, A., Quintin, M., Sempar. (2013). Do You Know Crocodiles? (Sempar, Illustrator). Markham, ON: Fitzhenry & Whiteside.

Bergeron, A., Quintin, M., Sempar. (2013). Do You Know Spiders? (Sempar, Illustrator). Markham, ON: Fitzhenry & Whiteside.

Bergeron, A., Quintin, M., Sempar. (2013). Do You Know Toads? (Sempar, Illustrator). Markham, ON: Fitzhenry & Whiteside.

Bouchard, H. & Nadeau, J. (2009). Harvey: How I Became Invisible. Toronto, ON: Groundwood Books.

Chantler, S. (2012). The Captive Prince. Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press.

Chantler, S. (2011). The Sign of the Black Rock. Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press.

Chantler, S. (2010). Tower of Treasure. Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press.

Christopher, N. (2012). The Country of Wolves (R. Perez, Illustrator). Iqualuit, Nunavut: Inhabit Media Inc.

Chudolinska, M. (2009). Back & Forth: A Novel in 90 Linocuts. Erin, ON: The Porcupine’s Quill.

Davila, C. (2012). LUz Makes a Splash. Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press.

Davila, C. (2011). LUz Sees the Light. Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press.

Deas, M. (2011). Dalen & Gole: Scandal in Port Angus. Victoria, BC: Orca Books.

Fairfield, L. (2009). Tyranny. Toronto, ON: Tundra Books.

Fleury, N., Pelletier, G., Pelletier, J., Welsh, J., Welsh, N., De Peel, J., & Saganace, C. (2008). Stories of our People: A Métis Graphic Novel Anthology. Saskatoon, SK: The Gabriel Dumont Institute.

Grant, A. (2008) Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. (C. Kennedy, Illustrator). Toronto, ON: Tundra Books.

Grant, A. (2006) Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped. (C. Kennedy, Illustrator). Toronto, ON: Tundra Books.

Katin, M. (2006). We Are on our Own: A Memoir. Montreal, PQ: Drawn & Quarterly.

Labatt, M. & Rioux, J. (2011). Witches’ Brew: A Sam & Friends Mystery. Toronto: Kids Can Press.

Labatt, M. & Rioux, J. (2010). Mummy Mayhem: A Sam & Friends Mystery. Toronto: Kids Can Press.

Labatt, M. & Rioux, J. (2009). Lake Monster Mix-up: A Sam & Friends Mystery. Toronto: Kids Can Press.

Lieberman, A. (2013). The Silver Six (D. Rawlings, Illustrator). New York: Graphix/Scholastic.

McClintock, N. (2012). I, Witness (M. Deas, Illustrator). Victoria, BC: Orca Books.

Morgan, J. (2012). Almost Home: The Sinking of the S.S. Caribou. Newfoundland: Breakwater Books

O’Donnell, L. (2011). Power play: A Graphic Guide Adventure (M. Deas, Illustrator). Victoria, BC: Orca Books.

O’Donnell, L. (2010). Food Fight: A Graphic Guide Adventure (M. Deas, Illustrator). Victoria, BC: Orca Books.

O’Donnell, L. (2009). Media Meltdown: A Graphic Guide Adventure (M. Deas, Illustrator). Victoria, BC: Orca Books.

O’Donnell, L. (2009). Soccer Sabotage: A Graphic Guide Adventure (M. Deas, Illustrator). Victoria, BC: Orca Books.

O’Donnell, L. (2008). Ramp Rats: A Graphic Guide Adventure (M. Deas, Illustrator). Victoria, BC: Orca Books.

O’Donnell, L. (2007). Wild Ride: A Graphic Guide Adventure (M. Deas, Illustrator). Victoria, BC: Orca Books.

Poon, J. (2009). Clair and the Water Wish. Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press.

Poon, J. (2008). Clair and the Bakery Thief. Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press.

Rioux, J. (2012). Cat’s Cradle: The Golden Twine. Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press.

Robertson, D.A. (2012). 7 Generations: A Plains Cree Saga (S. Henderson, Illustrator). Winnipeg, MB: Highwater Press.

Robertson, D.A. (2011). Sugar Falls: A Residential School Story (S. Henderson, Illustrator). Winnipeg, MB: Highwater Press.

Robertson, D.A. (2008). The Life of Helen Betty Osborne Winnipeg, MB: In a Bind Publications

Slavin, B. (2011). Big City Otto: Elephants Never Forget. Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press.

Speers, M. (2010). Wanderlust. Erin, ON: The Porcupine’s Quill.

Spires, A. (2013). Binky: License to Scratch. Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press.

Spires, A. (2012). Binky Takes Charge. Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press.

Spires, A. (2011). Binky Under Pressure. Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press.

Spires, A. (2010). Binky to the Rescue. Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press.

Spires, A. (2009). Binky the Space Cat. Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press.

Torres, J. (2013). Bigfoot Boy: The Unkindness of Ravens (F. Hicks, Illustrator). Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press.

Torres, J. (2012). Bigfoot Boy: Into the Woods (F. Hicks, Illustrator). Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press.

Torres, J. (2002). Alison Dare: Little Miss Adventures (J. Bone, illustrator). Toronto, ON: Tundra Books.

Torres, J. (2002). Alison Dare: The Heart of the Maiden (J. Bone, illustrator). Toronto, ON: Tundra Books.

Watts, I. R. (2008). Goodbye Marianne: The Graphic Novel (K. E. Shoemaker, Illustrator). Toronto, ON: Tundra Books.

Wright-McLeod, B. (2011). Red Power. Markham, ON: Fifth House.

Annotated Bibliography

Junior Reader: ages 8 and up
Intermediate Reader: ages 11 and up
Young Adult Reader: ages 14 and up

Barel, D. (2012). That One Spooky Night. (D. Huyck, Illustrator). Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press.

This bonechilling graphic novel contains three Hallowe’en stories. In the first tale, Giselle accidentally switches brooms with a witch when they collide outside a Hallowe’en shop. When the witch summons her broom, Giselle is dragged along on a spine tingling yet charitable adventure. In the second tale, Alexander, Anthony and their dog Nemo get extra dirty on their Hallowe’en outing. When their mother demands they wash up, they inadvertently summon a sea monster. In the third and final tale, four girls play pranks to scare local kids, until the friends are set up for a real scare.

Berg, S. (2007). Let that bad air out: Buddy Bolden’s last parade: A Novel in Linocut. Erin, ON:The Porcupine’s Quill.

An adult wordless graphic novel that may find a readership with young adults, this series of linocuts presents a spare biography of Charles Joseph ‘Buddy’ Bolden embedded in jazz history.

Bergeron, A., Quintin, M., Sempar. (2013). Do You Know Chameleons? (Sempar, Illustrator). Markham, ON: Fitzhenry & Whiteside. *Originally published in French

In this nonfiction Do You Know series book, learn fun facts about chameleons supported by graphics and text. . For ages 7 and up.

Bergeron, A., Quintin, M., Sempar. (2013). Do You Know Crocodiles? (Sempar, Illustrator). Markham, ON: Fitzhenry & Whiteside. *Originally published in French

In this nonfiction Do You Know series book, learn fun facts about crocodiles supported by graphics and text. . For ages 7 and up.

Bergeron, A., Quintin, M., Sempar. (2013). Do You Know Spiders? (Sempar, Illustrator). Markham, ON: Fitzhenry & Whiteside. *Originally published in French

In this nonfiction Do You Know series book, learn fun facts about spiders supported by graphics and text. . For ages 7 and up.

Bergeron, A., Quintin, M., Sempar. (2013). Do You Know Toads? (Sempar, Illustrator). Markham, ON: Fitzhenry & Whiteside. *Originally published in French

In this nonfiction Do You Know series book, readers learn fun facts about toads, supported by graphics and text. For ages 7 and up.

Bouchard, H. & Nadeau, J. (2009). Harvey: How I became invisible. Toronto: Groundwood Books.

The first Governor General’s Literary Award winner for both text and illustration, and translated from the original French by Helen Mixter, this 2010 graphic novel illuminates poignant themes of death and grief through the first-person narrative of a young boy, Harvey, whose father dies of a heart attack and who becomes invisible in the adult world of confusion and customs. For intermediate readers.

Chantler, S. (2012). The Captive Prince. Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press.

In this medieval adventure, Dessa shows that she is a capable young woman as she saves a kidnapped prince. When the kingdom attempts to celebrate the heroic deeds of the Three Thieves, the trio becomes increasingly concerned about being uncovered as wanted fugitives. Meanwhile, Prince Paladin has fallen for Dessa, and his support might help in uncovering the whereabouts of Greyfalcon. Unfortunately, Paladin’s father does not consider Dessa a worthy match for the young heir to the throne. For intermediate to young adult audiences

Chantler, S. (2011). The Sign of the Black Rock. Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press.

After their narrow escape from Kingsbridge, Dessa, Fisk, and Topper must find shelter from a terrible storm. With the Queen’s dragons hot on their trail, tensions build as the rainsoaked thieves try desperately to elude the versatile Captain Drake. A mysterious book coveted by the enigmatic/mysterious Greyfalcon seems to be the key to unlocking the whereabouts of Dessa’s brother. However, their fate hinges upon a mute woman Eudora as well as maintaining possession of the mysterious stolen book. For intermediate to young adult audiences.

Chantler, S. (2010). Tower of Treasure. Toronto: Kids Can Press.

Dessa Redd, a fourteen-year-old acrobat in a travelling circus, seeks a twin brother stolen in childhood while Topper, a circus juggler, attempts to rob the royal treasury. Joining with Fisk, the circus strongman, Topper and Dessa begin a journey from one end of the world to the other, unresolved in this title. Book One of the Three Thieves’ series. For ages 9 and up.

Christopher, N. (2012). The Country of Wolves (R. Perez, Illustrator). Iqualuit, Nunavut: Inhabit Media Inc.

In this graphic-novel version of an Inuit folk tale, two brothers, desperate to feed their families as the long winter has drained their supplies, become lost and adrift during a seal hunting expedition. Eager to return to their village, they find themselves in danger when they arrive in an unfamiliar place, surrounded by mysterious happenings. Actions scenes with mature content denote this book for a young adult reading audience.

Chudolinska, M. (2009). Back & forth: A novel in 90 linocuts. Erin, ON: The Porcupine’s Quill.

An adult wordless graphic novel that crossovers to young adult fiction, Back & Forth is the coming-of-age tale of a young urban woman, set in the intriguing combination of landmarks from Toronto and Vancouver. This choice in setting encourages a feeling of disjointedness in the character’s outlook, living a life compromised by distance and exploring her own sexuality.

Davila, C. (2012). LUz Makes a Splash. Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press.

When there is a terrible drought, Luz and her friends must discover a way to keep the community garden alive as the city rations water. What’s worse, TopCola is polluting the environment and stealing precious water from a local pond. Everyone must band together and do their part in protecting the future and their essential needs, while Luz realizes what it means to be a leader for change. For ages 8 and up.

Davila, C. (2011). LUz Sees the Light. Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press.

In this compelling and informative account, Luz in the city brings to the forefront contemporary eco-sensitive understandings. Luz takes action in the construction of community garden, with the help of her friends, to show that change starts at home with everyday decisions. As the cost of fossil fuel refinement increases, communities will be forced to localize food and commodity purchasing in response to import and transportation fees. Wastefulness, blackouts from increased energy usage, poor nutrition and exercise, as well as other unhealthy habits that youth engage in, are challenged in this tale of friendship and community. For ages 8 and up.

Deas, M. (2011). Dalen & Gole: Scandal in Port Angus. Victoria, BC: Orca Books.

This delightful junior graphic novel has consistent characters and a likeable, humorous storyline. Dalen and Gole are two alien buddies involved in jet-racing who accidentally end up on earth. With their human friend Rachel, they explore a mystery and assist both the fishing community of Port Angus and Budap—their home planet. The illustrator of several other graphic novels, this is Deas’ first publication as author. For ages 8 to 11.

Fairfield, L. (2009). Tyranny. Toronto, ON: Tundra Books.

This young adult graphic novel follows Anna’s chronological journey as she succumbs to her personal demon, an eating disorder aptly named Tyranny, and then eventually triumphs. The author cites a long term personal struggle with eating disorders as her inspiration for writing this book.

Fleury, N., Pelletier, G., Pelletier, J., Welsh, J., Welsh, N., De Peel, J., & Saganace, C. (2008). Stories of our people: A Métis graphic novel anthology. Saskatoon, SK: The Gabriel Dumont Institute.

This collection for ages 11 and up offers rich narratives that shift the Métis oral tradition into other media. Following each of the five illustrated stories, the storytellers’ original transcripts are available for further reading.

Grant, A. (2008) Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. (C. Kennedy, Illustrator). Toronto, ON: Tundra Books.

Set in a busy quarter in London, this adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel is richly stylized in 18th century language. As lawyer John Utterson begins to uncover more about the enigmatic Mr. Edward Hyde, he realizes that the man holds a connection to his old friend, a brilliant scientist named Dr. Henry Jekyll. As the happenings escalate to murder, Mr. Utterson is pressed to question his friend who is as uncooperative as the elusive Mr. Hyde. A challenging read that is sure to strike a chord between intermediate and young adult audiences, and the classics.

Grant, A. (2006) Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped. (C. Kennedy, Illustrator). Toronto, ON: Tundra Books.

Adapted from Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel Kidnapped, this graphic novel follows the breathtaking story of David Balfour. Following the death of his father, David receives a letter that leads him to a rundown estate, where he learns of his long lost uncle. The mysteries that enshroud David’s life become more complicated as he is kidnapped and taken aboard a pirate ship where David makes an unlikely friend in the notorious outlaw Alan Beck. Together they must forge a path of freedom, and then claim David’s lost past. As readers explore language that is stylized to 18th century, the door is open for them to gain interest in the venerable classics and the histories that surround them. Intended for intermediate and young adult audiences.

Katin, M. (2006). We are on our own: A memoir. Montreal, PQ: Drawn & Quarterly.

Katin’s poignant story began in 1944 when the Jewish population of Hungary began to feel strongly the Nazi occupation. This gripping memoir involves Katin as both a child and an adult, with black and white pencil drawings and colour cleverly distinguishing between ‘worlds’. For young adults and adults due to its mature content.

Labatt, M. & Rioux, J. (2011). Witches’ Brew: A Sam & Friends Mystery. Toronto: Kids Can Press.

In this fourth episode of the “Sam and Friends” graphic novel series, Jennie, Beth, and the detective pooch Sam are in for another challenge when three mysterious woman move in next door. Strange weather, bizarre animal behaviour, potions, and a man who resembles a warlock, make the girls question if their new neighbours are real witches. Things get too close for comfort when Jennie’s mom starts working late at the drugstore and the new neighbours become Jennie’s new babysitters. Will Sam’s intrepid dog detective skills help the two girls discover the true nature of their unique neighbours before it’s too late, or will they end up as frog stew? For junior readers.

Labatt, M. & Rioux, J. (2010). Mummy Mayhem: A Sam & Friends Mystery. Toronto: Kids Can Press.

Book Three in a series starring a detective dog named Sam and friends Jennie and Beth, both ten-years-old. This time a combination of facts about Ancient Egypt and mysterious dog treats adds up to a fun read for ages 6 to 9.

Labatt, M. & Rioux, J. (2009). Lake Monster Mix-up: A Sam & Friends Mystery. Toronto: Kids Can Press.

In this second episode of the “Sam and Friends” graphic novel series, a camping trip seems to be anything but interesting until two young girls discover a secret diary. It may be the key to unlocking a secret of Sagawa Lake. As the ten-year-old mystery hunters uncover more monster-related clues, danger and intrigue await. However, Jennie and Beth are not without help, as they are aided by the magnificent dog Sam, who has a taste for mystery, and a detective’s intuition. For junior readers.

Lieberman, A. (2013). The Silver Six (D. Rawlings, Illustrator). New York: Graphix/Scholastic.

Six orphaned children discover that they have more than circumstances in common when their registries turn up clues about the death of their parents. A very powerful and corrupt corporation is somehow tied to a mysterious explosion of their parents’ research vessel, which leads them on an adventure to the moon and back in discovery of the truth. A techsavy, science-loaded tale of epic proportion – for intermediate readers and older.

McClintock, N. (2012). I, Witness (M. Deas, Illustrator). Victoria, BC: Orca Books.

David Boone has got it rough. He is used to being surrounded by crime and turning a blind eye, but when David and his friend accidentally walk in on a killing they become the targets of the murderers. As the bodies begin piling up, David needs to find thecourage to speak up or end up being the next victim. For young adult audiences.

Morgan, J. (2012). Almost Home: The Sinking of the S.S. Caribou. Newfoundland: Breakwater Books

Thomas Moyst, the Second Engineer of the S.S. Caribou, must voyage to port Aux Basques under the escort of a destroyer. Little do they know that this voyage could well be their last as the Nazi submarine U69 lies in wait to ambush them. A true story about the historical journey of the S.S. Caribou. For junior readers with facts that all ages will appreciate.

O’Donnell, L. (2011). Power play: A graphic guide adventure (M. Deas, Illustrator). Victoria, BC: Orca Books.

In this instalment to the series, Devin and his sister Nadia collaborate with friends to solve a murder and protect the world’s water supply. An adventure story for ages 8 to 13.

O’Donnell, L. (2010). Food fight: A graphic guide adventure (M. Deas, Illustrator). Victoria, BC: Orca Books.

While Nadia is spending summer vacation as a counsellor at a university camp for little kids and her brother Devin is an unwilling camp participant, their mother’s agricultural research project is vandalized and her integrity is questioned. An adventure story for ages 8 to 13.

O’Donnell, L. (2009). Media meltdown: A graphic guide adventure (M. Deas, Illustrator). Victoria, BC: Orca Books.

When a greedy developer tries to force the sale of a local farm, Pema, Bounce, and Jagroop take the story to a local TV station only to discover that the station has ties to funding from the developer. An adventure story for ages 8 to 13.

O’Donnell, L. (2009). Soccer sabotage: A graphic guide adventure (M. Deas, Illustrator). Victoria, BC: Orca Books.

Nadia and Nate, highly invested in league soccer, take a run at the championship only to discover suspicious accidents and mounting threats designed to take down the team. An adventure story for ages 8 to 13.

O’Donnell, L. (2008). Ramp rats: A graphic guide adventure (M. Deas, Illustrator). Victoria, BC: Orca Books.

Bounce and his friends avoid skate park goons and outlaw bikers to establish their place on the course and perfect their skills. An adventure story with authentic skateboarding scenes for ages 8 to 13.

O’Donnell, L. (2007). Wild ride: A graphic guide adventure (M. Deas, Illustrator). Victoria, BC: Orca Books.

When their plane crashes in remote British Columbia, Devin, Nadia and Marcus must find a way to survive. An adventure story for ages 8 to 13.

Poon, J. (2009). Clair and the Water Wish. Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press.

Clair’s best friend Jet decides to take part in a writing contest, but when she wins a brand new camera their friendship gets put on hold. Now Jet is sporting a new look, hanging out with the cool kids, and much too busy to spend time with her. Luckily, Clair meets a new friend named Sky. However, Sky’s brother and cousin have been very ill, and they believe it is somehow connected to the water at Lovesick Lake. A continuation of the Clair series, for junior and intermediate readers.

Poon, J. (2008). Clair and the Bakery Thief. Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press.

In this junior graphic novel, young Claire must leave the city for country life when her parents open an organic bakery in the town of Bellevale. She is befriended by Jet, a girl her age, and they spend their time going on imagination adventures in the woods. Their imagination games turn into reality when Claire’s mother disappears after a strange man visits the bakery. The family must learn to stick together if they are to defeat the bakery thief and his evil plans for world domination. For junior readers.

Rioux, J. (2012). Cat’s Cradle: The Golden Twine. Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press.

Suri is an orphan who sells stories in a travelling merchant caravan, but what she really wants to be is a world class Monster Tamer – if only someone would believe in her talent. Things become tangled as she obtains a curiously powerful ball of twine after unknowingly crossing paths with a Caitsith – a dangerous and mythical catlike creature. With a prince coming especially for a captured monster the caravan is housing, Suri will get to discover whether she is up to the monster taming challenge. For ages 9 and up.

Robertson, D.A. (2012). 7 Generations: A Plains Cree Saga (S. Henderson, Illustrator). Winnipeg, MB: Highwater Press.

This graphic novel follows the story of a struggling family while looking back three generations at its background influences. Edwin, mourning his father’s absence, decides to end his life, but is rescued in time by his mother. Understanding the motivations for Edwin’s father’s departure and inherited struggles are necessary to overcome the past, heal and create a brighter future. For mature young adults.

Robertson, D.A. (2011). Sugar Falls: A Residential School Story (S. Henderson, Illustrator). Winnipeg, MB: Highwater Press.

Daniel feels a little lost about completing his assignment on Residential School survivors until his friend April offers to help. April’s Kokum (grandma) just happens to be a survivor, and her firsthand account of what happened is real and heartbreaking. When she agrees to share the story, Daniel and April are in for some life changing lessons. Abandoned as a child, she remembers being forcibly taken from her adopted parents to stay in a residential school, where she suffered horrible abuse. Based on a true story, this graphic novel revisits the gross tragedies of residential schools – a thought provoking historical look intended for mature teens.

Robertson, D.A. (2008). The life of Helen Betty Osborne. Winnipeg, MB: In a Bind Publications.

This young adult graphic novel relates both the past events which led to Betty Osborne’s sexual assault and murder and the present-day narrative in which Daniel, the young man who ignores the young Aboriginal woman in the snowbank, comes to terms with his position as a person who could have helped but didn’t.

Slavin, B. (2011). Big City Otto: Elephants Never Forget. Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press.

This title follows a devoted, naive, yet good natured elephant named Otto, and his witty and mentoring friend Crackers, as they search for Otto’s childhood companion Georgie. Otto was an orphan raised by Georgie’s family, and when Georgie gets captured by a strange man with a wooden nose, Otto decides to travel across the world to America to rescue his friend. However, Otto is used to life in the wild; how will he fare in a bustling big city with strange customs and gangster alligators? A graphic novel with lots of puns for intermediate and young adult readers.

Speers, M. (2010). Wanderlust. Erin, ON: The Porcupine’s Quill.

An adult wordless graphic novel told in wood engravings that crossovers to young adult fare, this story follows a girl immersed in punk culture living the life of a small-town outsider. Images of the ‘youthful wanderer’ reflect other texts in other times, and the resulting rhythms are startling and evocative.

Spires, A. (2013). Binky: License to Scratch. Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press.

When Binky the cat’s humans decide to take a trip, it’s off to the vet. Binky is concerned about his owner’s wellbeing since they do not have the spacecat’s protection against extraterrestrials (insects) in outer space (outside the home). At the vet, it becomes much more discouraging being locked up with no sign of release. Binky and his pet friends decide to break out, but their plans become complicated when they run into the mad scientist Professor Tuffy who has teamed up with the aliens. Will Binky and his friends be able to escape, or are they doomed? An excellent read for junior readers, with humour for the whole family.

Spires, A. (2012). Binky Takes Charge. Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press.

After Binky’s promotion, he receives a message from P.U.R.S.T. that he will be receiving his own trainee and companion. However, there must be some sort of mistake because the assistant who shows up is not a spacecat but a dog. Gordie the dog does not seem to have any skills or abilities needed to be a member of C.U.E.C., which makes Binky question if he is the right dog for the job, or worse – a spy. When the extraterrestrials (insects from outside) mount an attack it becomes clear how able Gordie really is. A terrific graphic novel for junior readers and all others looking for a good laugh.

Spires, A. (2011). Binky Under Pressure. Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press.

When a new cat comes to stay at Binky’s home, he realizes that he is not too certain how he feels about sharing his space station (the house), even temporarily. At first, Binky tries his best to be friendly, but the longer the mysterious cat stays, the more Binky feels intruded upon. Just when he thinks that he has had enough of, Binky realizes something crucial about the identity of the tiger striped cat that is essential to the survival of his space station (home). A delightful continuation of the Binky series for junior readers, and all others with an eye for feline-filled fun and humour.

Spires, A. (2010). Binky to the Rescue. Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press.

Binky the spacecat is bringing intergalactic justice to invading extraterrestrials (insects invading his home)when he accidentally lands himself in outer space (outside the home). Not to worry, he is well trained and resourceful, which helps him manage until he is rescued by his humans. Unfortunately, within the safety of the space station (home), he realizes that he and his human counterpart have both left something very important behind – Ted! Binky must come up with a rescue plan to save his plush friend Ted before the extraterrestrials steal him. A fabulous read for junior readers, with humour all ages will appreciate.

Spires, A. (2009). Binky the Space Cat. Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press.

Binky receives an invitation from the Intergalactic Cats Explorers of the Cosmos C.U.E.C. (Chats de l’univers explorateurs du Cosmos) to become a spacecat. Unfortunately, Binky has not even set foot outside his house (‘inner space’), let alone taken part in an interstellar journey in ‘outer space’ (the backyard). However, that does not deter him from deciding to build a spaceship or battling extraterrestrials (insects) in keeping planet earth and the secret project safe. When the space ship is finally completed, it seems that Binky has forgotten something very important. A fantastic read book for junior readers, with humour for all ages.

Torres, J. (2013). Bigfoot Boy: The Unkindness of Ravens (F. Hicks, Illustrator). Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press.

Rufus is visiting his grandmother again, and that means playing in the woods and with his best friend Penny. It looks to be all fun and games until some trickster ravens catch wind of the totem’s power. When the ravens capture Sidney the squirrel and try to barter for the legendary Q’achi carving, Bigfoot Boy has to muster more than Sasquatch muscle to outdo the trickster birds. The stand-alone second book in the “Bigfoot Boy” series, it will appeal to both junior and intermediate readers.

Torres, J. (2012). Bigfoot Boy: Into the Woods (F. Hicks, Illustrator). Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press.

Rufus is expecting a boring stay in Northwood when his parents drop him off to spend a couple of days with his grandmother. His stay becomes the opposite of boring when he meets a woodsy girl named Penny who has a deep concern for the wellbeing of her forest. While in the forest, Rufus stumbles upon a magical totem which can transform him into a Sasquatch. This new power helps him make some new friends, but also some jealous enemies; the situation become seven more hairy when Penny goes missing. A great read for junior and intermediate readers.

Torres, J. (2002). Alison Dare: Little Miss Adventures (J. Bone, illustrator). Toronto, ON: Tundra Books.

The spare language carries the mystery at a rapid pace but leaves room for word plays which add a whimsical quality. At times, the illustrations move the storyline forward without words, a sensation that links the work of Torres and Bone to films in terms of its effect. Rather glib in the portrayal of stereotypical villains and heroes, but this is perhaps a result of the genre of the books rather than their graphic form. For ages 8 – 13.

Torres, J. (2002). Alison Dare: The Heart of the maiden(J. Bone, illustrator). Toronto, ON: Tundra Books.

Another Torres and Bone mystery.

Watts, I. R. (2008). Goodbye Marianne: The graphic novel (K. E. Shoemaker, Illustrator). Toronto, ON: Tundra Books.

A visual translation of Watts’ 1998 holocaust novel, this graphic version carries a strong message made even more powerful in its illustrated form. For ages 11 and up.

Wright-McLeod, B. (2011). Red Power. Markham, ON: Fifth House.

This young adult title is a graphic novel blend of dream world and reality inspired by the land struggle at Big Mountain, Arizona, where 10 000 traditional Navajo people won a relocation battle with the government. Wright-McLeod (Dakota-Anishinabe) is a journalist with specialities in music and graphic design.

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