The Mystery Boxes
The Mystery Boxes

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Series: Explorer Vol. 1   

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Annotation: Anthology contains short graphic works by various artists on the theme of a mysterious box containing marvels--or mayhem--inside.
Catalog Number: #60958
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Graphic Novel Graphic Novel
Copyright Date: 2012
Edition Date: 2012
Pages: 126 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-419-70009-X Perma-Bound: 0-605-56216-4
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-419-70009-5 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-56216-5
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2011025343
Dimensions: 24 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Award-winning comics creator and editor of the celebrated Flight anthologies, Kibuishi offers yet another great anthology geared toward middle-school readers. This collection brings together seven minicomics written and drawn by comics luminaries such as Raina Telgemeier, Dave Roman, and Kibuishi himself; Flight contributors Jason Caffoe, Rad Sechrist, Stuart Livingston, and Johane Matte; and comics newcomer Emily Carroll. Each fantastic and fantastical story centers around the theme of boxes and the mysteries that lie within or around them. Always clever and never boring, these diverse stories run the gamut from creepy to sarcastic to witty to cute to Zen to wacky to thoughtful. While the pieces feature different artists and styles, each one is complete and so well composed that the transitions from one to another do not seem jarring or out of place. A great introductory title for young or struggling middle-school readers starting to explore the world of graphic novels.
Horn Book
In this anthology of seven stories, each comics creator takes the same idea--mysterious boxes--and runs with it. Each story--spooky cautionary stories, slapstick humor, tales of enchantment--fits the theme but spins its own twist: part of the fun is anticipating how each will integrate the titular box. The varied illustration styles show off the breadth of comic art.
School Library Journal
Gr 3&11;6&12; A brief anthology edited by the organizer of the "Flight" anthologies (Villard, 2008), these kid-friendly shorts vary in tone from light horror to cheerful adventure. They continue the "Flight" collective tradition of artwork that has a painterly animated quality. While the artists vary in individual style and the stories vary in tone, the thematic connection to a mysterious box is highly effective, perhaps particularly so because of the slim length and tight focus of the stories. A box is a container, and therefore inherently holds potential and revelation. From Pandora to Santa Claus, it has represented the push-pull of compulsion and anxiety. Emily Carroll's opening tale and the cartoony romp by Saymone Phanekham deserve special mention for immediately establishing tone and a reader-friendly world, and the mythological underpinnings of Rad Sechrist's story provide it with a compelling base. Coherent for all its variety, there will be something here for most readers.&12; Benjamin Russell, Belmont High School, NH
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 3&11;6&12; A brief anthology edited by the organizer of the "Flight" anthologies (Villard, 2008), these kid-friendly shorts vary in tone from light horror to cheerful adventure. They continue the "Flight" collective tradition of artwork that has a painterly animated quality. While the artists vary in individual style and the stories vary in tone, the thematic connection to a mysterious box is highly effective, perhaps particularly so because of the slim length and tight focus of the stories. A box is a container, and therefore inherently holds potential and revelation. From Pandora to Santa Claus, it has represented the push-pull of compulsion and anxiety. Emily Carroll's opening tale and the cartoony romp by Saymone Phanekham deserve special mention for immediately establishing tone and a reader-friendly world, and the mythological underpinnings of Rad Sechrist's story provide it with a compelling base. Coherent for all its variety, there will be something here for most readers.&12; Benjamin Russell, Belmont High School, NH
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
An outstanding out-of-the box anthology from renowned comics veteran Kibuishi. Kibuishi's Flight series for adults (collected in Flight, 2011), spurred a spin-off, Flight Explorer (2008), a volume specifically written for a younger audience. Both anthologies were strong on art but held no cohesive theme; this volume preserves the strong artistic stylization of its predecessors, but also employs a unifying theme--"what's in the box"--throughout the slick and imaginative collection. The seven tales, from artists both established and up-and-coming, span the spectrum from a serious and moralistic tale of war and vengeance in "The Soldier's Daughter" to seriously silly and fun alien hijinks in "Whatzit" to a dark and creepy yarn about doll that comes alive with a sinister purpose in "Under the Floorboards" to the light and sweet "Spring Cleaning," replete with wizards and reunited love. This volume eloquently demonstrates how well short stories work in the comics medium and Kibuishi's masterful chops as an editor. By cleverly applying the thematic catalyst to an already-winning formula, Kibuishi deftly fends off staleness. With eye-popping full-color art and palettes ranging from candy-colored to ethereal earth tones, this is both a visual feast for the eyes and a healthy helping of thought for the soul. Superb. (Graphic short-story anthology. 7-12)
Word Count: 3,495
Reading Level: 2.4
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 2.4 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 149046 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.2 / points:4.0 / quiz:Q56727
Lexile: GN370L
Guided Reading Level: J

Seven clever stories answer one simple question: what's in the box?Funny, fantastic, spooky, and suspenseful, each of these unique and beautifully illustrated short graphic works revolves around a central theme: a mysterious box and the marvels--or mayhem--inside. Artists include middle school favorites Kazu Kibuishi, Raina Telgemeier ( Smile ), and Dave Roman ( Astronaut Academy ), as well as Jason Caffoe, Stuart Livingston, Johane Matte, Rad Sechrist (all contributors to the groundbreaking comics anthology series Flight ), and upcoming artist Emily Carroll. Praise for Explorer: Mystery Boxes STARRED REVIEW "An outstanding out-of-the box anthology from renowned comics veteran Kibuishi. With eye-popping full-color art and palettes ranging from candy-colored to ethereal earth tones, this is both a visual feast for the eyes and a healthy helping of thought for the soul. Superb." - Kirkus Reviews, starred review STARRED REVIEW " Coherent for all its variety, there will be something here for most readers." - School Library Journal , starred review

Under the floorboards / Emily Carroll
Spring cleaning / Dave Roman & Raina Telgemeier
The keeper's treasure / Jason Caffoe
The butter thief / Rad Sechrist
The soldier's daughter / Stuart Livingston with Stephanie Ramirez
Whatzit / Johane Matte with Saymone Phanekham
The escape option / Kazu Buishi.

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