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The Bramble

3.11  ·  Rating Details ·  98 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
In this beautifully illustrated and mostly wordless book, Cameron isn't small, but he's not exactly big. He's not slow, but he's also not quick. He wants friends, but it never quite seems to work out. And in a game of tag, he's going to end up "it." Or at least that's how things are on this side of the Bramble. On the other side, it's a different story. On the other side ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 1st 2013 by Carolrhoda Books (first published August 13th 2013)
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Apr 09, 2014 Rachel rated it really liked it
A chubby-faced boy finds his way into a realm of magical creatures after the older kids refuse to play tag with him. Wonder fills his eyes with each sight in this beautifully rendered world.

Almost completely wordless, the boy helps these creatures face a menacing foe, a sweeping wave that is a metaphor for the seemingly overwhelming power of bullies in the real world. To overcome this, he tricks the wave with a game of tag, and after dodging it countless times, manages to outsmart it to the gre
Valerie Barnhart
May 01, 2015 Valerie Barnhart rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
1) This book is extremely easy to follow with very few words and panels colored in monochromatic design. The panels are easy to follow and creatively drawn creatures show emotions through the pictures.

2) I would suggest using this book for a student with limited language skills or K-2. It would be a great book to have students give words and dialogue to the main character. It allows for the reader to imagine their own interpretation.

3) No cautions or concerns. The little boy seems scared of th
Nov 13, 2014 P. rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, jfic, speculative
I thought the emotional tone was spot on - nailed the bravery of approaching new groups, heartbreak of being rejected, joy at finding new kindred spirits. however, I'm not sure that the Tag metaphor really worked, and I'm not sure that the resolution made that much sense.
Adrienne Wilson
Oct 30, 2013 Adrienne Wilson rated it it was amazing
Wow! Awesome. Dymphnan had me read it every night, even though we have 50 other library books. We probably will buy this one.
Cuuuuteee. Shouldn't really be counting this as a book, seeing as it's so short but... Whatevs ;P
May 28, 2013 Karissa rated it liked it
I got a copy of this book to review through NetGalley(dot)com. Thanks to Carolrhoda Books and Netgalley for giving me the chance to review this book. When I saw this graphic novel about a boy finding monsters in a dark forest I was hooked and dying to read it. It ended up being an okay read, a little confusing at parts and the drawings were more sketches and seemed a bit incomplete.

A young boy is being teased and bullied by some older boys when he can’t catch them during a game of tag, then he f
Jun 24, 2013 Melissa rated it really liked it
The Bramble is a picture book with very minimal text. For the most part the story is told by illustrations. I love these books because it allows you to come up with the text. You create the story with the author.
Lee Nordling and Bruce Zick have created a very interesting book. As is so important in a visual heavy book, the illustrations really draw the eye. They are incredibly intricate pen and ink/see the hash mark images. The color used is mainly to define the two worlds. The world outside of
Dec 19, 2015 Laura rated it it was ok
I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Bramble is about a young boy who’s teased by the other kids, and sometime ignored by them. When he wanders into the Bramble, he finds a new world with new possibilities.

I’m a little torn on what this book really is. It’s marked as a graphic novel, but I went into it with the mind set of a picture book. It certainly has frames similar to that o
May 23, 2013 Pamela rated it it was ok
I was a bit disappointed by this. It must be stated, however, that I have a rather unusual taste in picture books. I prefer picture books that most kids wouldn't *get*.

Anyway, I was looking forward to the artwork in The Bramble, but more often than not, I found myself confused. This is a nearly wordless story--the only words are "Tag. You're. It." The reader must follow the rest of the story on his own, and create his own narrative. Generally, I like wordless books, but I was a bit confused by
Jul 30, 2013 zxvasdf rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
This mostly wordless story about a boy who discovers a passage into a world of monsters, and unlike Where the Wild Things Go, he befriends these monsters instead. The boy helps them with a serious problem and in the process, he learns something about himself. When he returns to his world, he uses it to good effect.

Not all monsters are bad. Sometimes they're just as scared as you are inside. The same is very true for people, and sometimes the really mean ones are just afraid to open up. Also, if
Miss Pippi the Librarian
Nordling and Zick are very talented men. They have an amazing list of project they have helped to create (view the author bios on the dust jacket). Unfortunately, this title didn't strike home for me.

It's a nearly wordless graphic novel. The illustrations are intricate with a dark overtone and the reader can follow along with the overall story. The boy wants to play tag, but the other children don't want to play with him. He visits the Bramble and discovers new creatures and how to stand up for
Pat (Get Kids to Read) Tierney
Nordling, Lee. and Bruce Zick. The Bramble. Print.

This review is also posted on Get Kids to Read

Sequential Art Book
Grades 1-5.
The Bramble is a sequential art book of adventure and courage. When a game of tag leaves a little boy tagged it, and left alone, he stumbles into a secluded bramble. While there he finds his courage stands up to the bullying kids who had simply tagged him and left him.
Comic books are generally looked down upon by teachers, however they use a narrative style called sequen
Alanna (The Flashlight Reader)
Think of The Bramble as a anti-bullying book that meets Where the Wild Things Are. Cameron wants to play with the older kids, but they won't let him. They pick on him because of his size. What little kid can't relate to that, huh?

But then something amazing happens. Cameron follows this interesting creature (a la Alice and the White Rabbit) through a bramble to discover that he's pretty amazing. When he does venture back to his world, he's ready to play with the big kids.

I really liked that thi
Wayne McCoy
Sep 28, 2013 Wayne McCoy rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Cameron is always tagged in tag and he is never quick enough not to be "it" all the time. A surprising trip into the Bramble finds him in a strange worlds with new friends that teach him new skills.

It's a fun children's novel told mainly with pictures and very few words (the only words in it are tag, you're, and it). It reminded me a bit of some of the early Maurice Sendak novels and Where The Wild Things Are.

The creative team behind the book come from Disney and Pixar, so you know the story is
Oct 10, 2013 Christiane rated it it was ok
A young boy, Cameron, travels through a bramble hedge into another world populated by friendly monsters who are being threatened by some huge wave-like creature. The illustrations are very dark (muted greys and purple and black) and I found the almost entirely wordless story hard to follow in places. Cameron is capable and brave in the Bramble and is able to take that strength back into the real world, but I'm not sure how helpful this would be for children facing their own bullies. The monsters ...more
I love the atmospheric, moody, and creepy illustrations in this mostly wordless picture book. The creatures are well-done yet rather reminiscent of Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are". The main little boy doesn't quite seem to fit in with his peers. But when he stumbles into the Bramble, magical things happen which enable him to build in confidence ultimately standing up to those who bullied him before. While the illustrations are nice, smaller children might have difficulty following the ...more
Jan 12, 2014 Beverly rated it liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
Executed in panels like a comic book, the regular world is depicted in yellowy-sepia colors while the fantasy world is depicted with blues, greens and purples. The human characters are somewhat cartooney, and the fantasy creatures not overly-scary. I agree with some other reviewers that it was not very clear whether the thing chasing the fantasy creatures was a wave of water or some kind of blob creature. I liked the book, but I think there were other, better wordless books published this past ...more
Jennifer Lombardi
May 13, 2013 Jennifer Lombardi rated it liked it

This book is different than most. It is set up like a comic book but does not have words. Without words it was a little difficult for us to follow the story. A creative person would probably love this book as they can interpret it however they want too. I am sure a teacher can do the same to make it fit in with his or her lesson plans.

Review from my five year old son-"This book is not so good. The pictures are very scary!"

***This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an open and
Jun 05, 2013 Ryan rated it really liked it
4 Stars
I love when I find a graphic novel that is easy for young kids to understand without alienating the mid to upper elementary. This book has done just that. It all starts with a game of tag. No one wants to play with our hero. So he takes a trip through the bramble (thorny bushes) to a place where everyone wants to play. But there is danger lurking nearby and the new world needs a hero.
Dena (Batch of Books)
Sep 05, 2013 Dena (Batch of Books) rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
This is an almost wordless picture book and kind of a graphic novel at the same time. It's about a boy learning to overcome his fears and insecurities. I read this with my kids and they really enjoyed the story and the illustrations. I loved the artwork, and even though the story was just so-so for me, the main weight of the book lies with the art. So I gave it a nice, solid 4 stars.

My blog: Books for Kids
Christine Turner
In this beautifully illustrated and mostly wordless book with strong anti-bullying themes, Cameron struggles with his size, his speed, and his ability to make new friends. But on the other side of the Bramble, something extraordinary can happen, something that changes everything.

HCPL Juv Nonfic, Graphic Novels 741.597 Nor

MOSTLY wordless
Rebecca Ann
Apr 03, 2014 Rebecca Ann rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This book war nearly wordless and I loved the illustrations. It felt like an homage to Where the Wild Things Are, with a hint of my neighbor Totoro. I'm not sure I quite get the message at the end. It feels a little too much like "if you can't beat them, join them".
Great visuals for an almost wordless picture book. For some reason the illustrations reminded me of Sendak's Wild Things----but without the whole Max & dinner part. :P

Heydi Smith
What a great almost wordless book. It's simply about a boy discovering monster and a game a tag. Well, and perhaps finding friends in unlikely places.

I would use it for older storytimes about monsters, imagination, and friendship.
Oct 30, 2015 Erika rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
Super dark art work full of some of the angriest faces I have seen. Moral of the story stick up for yourself.
Creating your own story can be tough sometimes. I would only recommend this book to children 7 or older.
Feb 04, 2014 Nora rated it liked it
Shelves: jp
This is what would happen if the movie 'Labyrinth' and the book 'Where the Wild Things Are' had a baby. Crazy fun about a boy who learns to understand his personal power.
Aug 24, 2013 Donalyn rated it liked it
A fanciful wordless book about a young boy who finds friendship and courage with a band of monsters in the bramble.
This wordless graphic novel was simply adorable. Saw it at the library and knew based on its cover I had to read it. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Andrea Hunter
Andrea Hunter rated it it was ok
Jan 23, 2014
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Lee Nordling is an award-winning writer, editor, and creative director who has worked on staff at Disney Publishing, DC Comics, and Nickelodeon Magazine. His book, The Bramble, won the 2013 Moonbeam Gold Medal for Picture Books (ages 4-8), and BirdCatDog was chosen by Kirkus Reviews as one of the best children's books of 2014. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, Cheri, and numerous pets that e ...more
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