Now I must admit. I have heard about Ms. Marvel or Captain Marvel a couple of times from fellow comic book readers, but I had never re
Now I must admit. I have heard about Ms. Marvel or Captain Marvel a couple of times from fellow comic book readers, but I had never really read a comic book about Captain Marvel before and therefore, I do not know much about her character (other than the fact that she had a rivalry with Rogue from the X-Men, due to Rogue stealing her powers and putting her in a coma). So, when I heard that Marvel was making a “Ms. Marvel” series that would have a protagonist who was of Muslim background, I was seriously excited at the prospect of having a diverse superhero in the Marvel Universe!
What is this story about?
Kamala Khan was your average teenage girl who happens to live in Jersey City and comes from a Muslim family. One day however, a mysterious mist overcomes Jersey City and Kamala soon finds herself obtaining powers such as stretching her limbs out to unbelievable lengths and shapeshifting into different forms. Unfortunately, not only does Kamala have a hard time controlling her newfound powers, but she suffers from an identity crisis as she tries to figure out what kind of superhero she wants to be: a superhero that is exactly like Captain Marvel or a superhero where she can express her true personality and beliefs through her newfound powers?
What I loved about this story:
G. Willow Wilson’s writing: I will admit that this is the first time that I had ever read a comic book by G. Willow Wilson (or this could possibly be her first comic book), so I was interested to see what kind of new storylines G. Willow Wilson could bring to the Marvel Universe. Lo and behold, I was pleasantly surprised by G. Willow Wilson’s witty and emotional writing of Kamala Khan, the new Ms. Marvel! I loved the way that G. Willow Wilson wrote Kamala Khan’s character as Kamala is shown as being a spunky girl who wants to be a superhero, but she is not sure of what kind of superhero she should be and I loved the fact that this issue is explored and how it affects Kamala throughout the story. I also loved the fact that this story is extremely lighthearted with some intense moments here and there as it gives the story so much depth regarding the characters and it is nice to have a superhero series that has a light tone that could resonate with the readers. I also think that G. Willow Wilson did an excellent job at not making Kamala’s Muslim background into something stereotypical, but into something that makes Kamala unique in her own way and it was great seeing what Muslim culture is like within a superhero community as it gives more diversity to the story since it is rare that we see Middle Eastern superheroes being portrayed in superhero comic books.
Adrian Alphona’s artwork: Adrian Alphona’s artwork is both gorgeous and hilarious to look at as the characters are drawn realistically and there are some panels where the characters’ skins glow against sunlight and moonlight and gives their appearances a mesmerizing feel. I also loved the way that Adrian Alphona drew the humorous expressions on the characters whenever they are shocked or scared as it made the artwork into something unique as you have both comedic and dramatic artwork within the same story.
What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:
For anyone who does not like language in comic books, this graphic novel does have some language such as the constant use of the “p” word, but other than that, this graphic novel is pretty tame compared to some of the darker and grittier superhero comic books.
Overall, “Ms. Marvel Volume One: No Normal” is truly one of the most creative and inspiring stories I had ever read from Marvel NOW and I am definitely looking forward to reading more adventures from the new and different “Ms. Marvel!”
Even though there has been like a million retellings of “Cinderella” done already, I do recall one version of the tale that was quite unique as it had
Even though there has been like a million retellings of “Cinderella” done already, I do recall one version of the tale that was quite unique as it had the “Cinderella” character running away from home and dancing with the prince of the story in disguise and that version came from a fairy tale called “Cap O’ Rushes.” So, imagine my surprise when I found out that there was a Jewish version of this tale called “The Way Meat Loves Salt” by Nina Jaffe along with illustrations by Louise August and I was pleasantly surprised by this brilliant version of the classic fairy tale!
Many years ago in the country of Poland, there lived a rabbi who had a wife and three daughters. The names of the three daughters were Reyzeleh, the oldest, Khaveleh, the middle daughter and Mireleh, the youngest. One day, the rabbi wanted to know how much each of his daughters loved him and he decided to ask each of them how they felt about him.
Reyzeleh answered, “I love you as much as diamonds.”
Khaveleh answered, “I love you as much as gold and silver.”
And Mireleh answered, “I love you the way meat loves salt.”
When the rabbi heard Mireleh’s answer, he was so enraged that he kicked Mireleh out of his house. Mireleh then wonders through the forest crying when suddenly, an old man dressed in a white robe showed up carrying a tall silver staff in one hand and a wooden stick in the other hand. The old man then tells Mireleh that she should go to the house of Rabbi Yitskhok ben Levi, the renowned scholar of Lublin and that he has a wife and son that could take care of her. When Mireleh goes to the house, the family took her in and let her stay in their attic. One day however, a wedding feast was being held in Cracow and Rabbi Yitskhok’s family decided to go to the wedding feast, but they let Mireleh stay at home. Mireleh wanted to go to the wedding, but she realized that she did not have the proper attire to attend the wedding. So, she used the magic stick that the old man gave her and she was able to make a beautiful dress appear out of thin air! When Mireleh arrived at the wedding, the guests were astonished by her appearance and Rabbi Yitskhok’s son immediately took interest in her and wanted to know everything about her. But, Mireleh kept quiet and did not tell the rabbi’s son anything about herself. As soon as the wedding feast was over, the rabbi’s son wanted to know more about the mysterious girl who came to the wedding and he decided to put some tar and pitch out in the front of his house to wait for the mysterious girl to arrive. When Mireleh came back to the house, she ended up getting one of her shoes stuck in the tar pitch and she had to leave without the other shoe. The rabbi’s son then picked up the shoe and declared that whoever fits the shoe will be his bride.
Will the Rabbi’s son find the woman who fits the shoe?
Read this book to find out!
Nina Jaffe’s writing is beautifully written as she does a brilliant job at retelling this ancient old version of “Cinderella” and incorporating Jewish customs into the story that makes it stand out from other folktales. I loved the way that Nina Jaffe incorporated the Jewish traditions in this story such as the groom stepping on the wine glass during the marriage ceremony as we get to learn more about Jewish culture through this story and how they define the characters. I also loved the fact that this story takes place in Poland since it is rare that I read children’s books that take place in Poland and it gives the story an extremely unique feel. Nina Jaffe did an excellent job at bringing out the theme of true love in this story as Mireleh, the main protagonist, is unfairly thrown out of her own home just because she stated that she loved her father as much as “meat loves salt.” While it takes most of the story for the father to figure out what Mireleh’s statement really meant, it was intriguing to me that Mireleh would make such an odd statement about her love for her father and yet, it still meant that she truly loves her father, even if the statement “meat loves salt” sounded a bit odd to both her father and the reader (unless you think about that statement really hard). Louise August’s artwork is beautiful and cute to look at as all the characters are drawn in a cute way and I really loved the Polish outfits that the characters wear such as the large dresses with the aprons that the female characters wear and the polo jackets and baggy trousers that the male characters wear.
Parents should know that the core part of this story is that the father ends up kicking his own daughter out of his home due to his daughter’s odd comment about how much she loves him. This could upset some readers as it hits closely home to children who were forcibly put out of their own homes by their parents or have dealt with parents who were abusive towards them. Parents might want to reassure their children that while such abuse can happen in real life, they should let their children know that they will always love them no matter what happens.
Overall, “The Way Meat Loves Salt” is a beautiful story about what true love really is and the importance of family no matter what kind of differences you may have with each other. I would recommend this book to children ages six and up since the Jewish terms might be a bit confusing for some smaller readers and the scene of the daughter being kicked out of her home might upset some children.
Now, I have been reading the “Anansi” series ever since I was little and I was always so amazed at the gorgeous artwork and the hilarious writing in e
Now, I have been reading the “Anansi” series ever since I was little and I was always so amazed at the gorgeous artwork and the hilarious writing in each book! So, when I stumbled upon another “Anansi” story that was written by Eric A. Kimmel along with illustrations by Janet Stevens, I was pleasantly surprised by how this story turned out to be as entertaining as the previous “Anansi” stories!
The story starts off with Anansi looking down on Elephant’s melon patch from the trees and he wanted to have a melon. But since Anansi was always too lazy to do any work, he decided to wait until Elephant went off on break to eat a melon. So after Elephant left the melon patch, Anansi took a thorn from a tree and started digging a hole inside the melon to jump inside and eat the melon from the inside out. Once Anansi was done eating inside the melon, he tried to get out from inside the melon, but he become too fat to get out and he had to wait until he got thin again. Elephant then comes back to the melon patch and picks up the melon that Anansi was inside of and Anansi decided to play a little trick on Elephant by pretending to be the melon and successfully convinces Elephant that the melon is really talking. Elephant is so excited about this development that he decided to tell his friends and the king about the talking melon.
Will the King be impressed by the talking melon or will he realize that it is Anansi playing this trick?
Read this book to find out!
Wow! I must admit that I was quite surprised that I have not read this book yet since I have been reading the “Anansi” series ever since I was a child! Eric A. Kimmel has once again done an excellent job at writing this story as the story is highly creative and hilarious at the same time and I really loved the scenes where Anansi tricks the other animals into thinking that the melon is actually talking to them. I like the fact that in this story, Anansi does not actually steal anything like he did in the previous book “Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock” since it makes him into a less amoral character (although he still did dig inside one of the Elephant’s melons without Elephant’s permission) and the fact that he is just playing tricks on Elephant and the other animals just for the fun of it, makes him less malicious in nature. Janet Stevens’ artwork is as usual gorgeous to look at and I loved the way that Janet Stevens is able to convey the emotions on the characters’ faces, especially whenever the melon seems to insult each animal character and you get to see the animals’ angry expressions really close up.
Overall, “Anansi and the Talking Melon” is a truly hilarious book that is another great addition to Eric A. Kimmel and Janet Stevens’ “Anansi” series! I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book.
Another fantastic volume of “Saga” from the great mind of Brian K. Vaughan? You bet I will check this new vol
OH YEAH BABY!
Another fantastic volume of “Saga” from the great mind of Brian K. Vaughan? You bet I will check this new volume out as soon as it was released and I was seriously blown away by this action packed volume! “Saga: Volume Five” is another awesome installment of Brian K. Vaughan’s legendary comic book series that is definitely worth its weight in gold!
What is this story about?
After the disastrous falling out between Marko and Alana in the previous volume, Alana, Marko’s mother and Hazel find themselves being kidnapped by Dengo, the janitor robot who kidnapped Prince Robot IV’s newborn baby in the last volume. This then leads to Marko being forced to work with Prince Robot IV in order to find their missing families. Meanwhile, Gwendolyn, Sophie and The Will’s sister The Brand, set out on a journey together to retrieve a cure that will help save The Will’s life, but the journey is going to be pretty dangerous for the three (four if we are including the Lying Cat) travelers!
What I loved about this story:
Brian K. Vaughan’s writing: As usual, Brian K. Vaughan’s writing is spot on and I really loved the fact that this volume was much more action driven then the previous volumes, which were mostly character driven and we actually get to see several characters really kicking some serious butt in this volume! I just loved the way that Brian K. Vaughan really made Alana into such an awesome fighter in this volume as it was hinted at early on that Alana used to be in the military and we finally get the chance to see Alana’s combat skills displayed in this volume, especially when she tries to protect her daughter Hazel from various people who want to harm her. I also loved the fact that Marko is still trying to find Alana and Hazel again as it showed how much he really cared about his family, despite his fight with Alana in the last volume. It was also heartbreaking learning about Marko’s backstory and why him accidentally hurting Alana had such a tragic impact on him and how he tries to make amends for what he had done to Alana. I really enjoyed the side story involving Gwendolyn, Sophie, the Lying Cat and the Brand trying to find a cure for the Will, who was injured a few volumes ago. I really loved the relationship between these four travelers as it shows that they all cared about the Will in their own way and are willing to work together to obtain the cure needed to help the Will. The only thing that got me about this volume was that I did not see one single appearance from my favorite ghost girl Izabel…OH IZABEL! WHERE ARE YOU!?
Fiona Staples’ artwork: Fiona Staples’ artwork is as usual gorgeous to look at and I really loved the action sequences as you can see the explosions really glow through the pages (which is something I often see with this series all the time) and I really loved the alien appearances of many of the characters, especially of Prince Robot IV with his TV set head!
What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:
For anyone who does not like strong language, gory violence and graphic images, there are many scenes in this volume where characters are blown up and blood and guts are sprayed all over and some strong language such as the constant use of the “f” word and the “a” word. Also, there is some nudity in this volume, as well as some sex scenes that might make some people cringe.
Overall, is “Saga: Volume Five” worth picking up? YES! YES IT IS! Go ahead and pick up this sucker already and be amazed by the wonderful world of “Saga!”
Now, I have read many children’s books that dealt with people from other countries immigrating to America for a better life. But, I had never read a c
Now, I have read many children’s books that dealt with people from other countries immigrating to America for a better life. But, I had never read a children’s book that went in depth with the immigration between Mexico and America and the reasons behind it. “Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant’s Tale” by Duncan Tonatiuh is such a tale that tackles the subject of immigration and yet also discusses about the importance of family in such an informative and effective way!
The story starts off with Papa Rabbit going off to the carrot and lettuce fields far away to the North in order to earn extra money for his family. Unfortunately, when Pancho and his family eagerly await the arrival of Papa Rabbit, Papa Rabbit never showed up back home and Pancho and his family started getting worried about Papa Rabbit. So, late during the night, Pancho decided to go out and find Papa Rabbit himself, while packing some of his father’s favorite food, which included mole, rice and beans, tortillas and a jug full of fresh aguamiel. Along the way, Pancho meets up with a coyote who tells Pancho that he can take him to his father if Pancho gives him the food that he is carrying. Even though Pancho did not want to give up the food he was going to give to his father, he longed to see his father again, so he decided to give the coyote all of his food. Once the coyote realizes that Pancho ran out of food…
What will the coyote do to Pancho?
Read this book to find out!
Wow! This book was simply amazing and heartwarming at the same time! I just loved the way that Duncan Tonatiuh wrote this book as the writing was extremely touching and sharp and I loved the way that he wrote the characters, especially Pancho Rabbit himself. I loved the fact that Pancho was a brave and determined child who only wanted to see his father and the fact that he journeyed across the desert with his food barely intact really showed his determined nature throughout the story, which made him into such an inspiring character. Duncan Tonatiuh has done a splendid job at explaining about the obstacles that most immigrants face whenever they are migrating to another country in order to provide more food and money for their families and I like the fact that there was more emphasis put on Papa Rabbit trying to provide for his family rather than explain how his situation as an immigrant would have been treated in another country. I also loved the little author’s note at the end where Duncan Tonatiuh provided statistics regarding immigrants coming to America and how to look at the situation from an immigrant’s perspective instead of assuming false facts about their situation in going to America to get a good job. Duncan Tonatiuh’s artwork is highly creative as it is hand drawn and then collaged digitally and it gives the book a unique feel as I rarely see artwork where you see cut outs from magazines being combined with hand-drawn artwork. I also loved the Mexican influence of the artwork as it made me feel like I am living in Mexico right as I am reading this book!
The only problem I had with this book was that the ending felt a bit abrupt as there was a major plot point that happened near the end of the book and it was not quite resolved. I would have liked to see that plot point actually be resolved towards the end of this story. I will not give out too many details about what happened at the end since I do not want to spoil anything, but let us just say that it dealt with people stealing items from one of the characters.
Overall, “Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote” is a truly lovely story about the experiences of immigration and the importance of family that many children will enjoy for years! I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since some of the Mexican language might be a bit hard for smaller children to understand.