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The Mystery Boxes (Explorer #1)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  5,216 Ratings  ·  453 Reviews

Find out in these seven clever stories by eight incredible comics creators!

Under the Floorboards by Emily Carroll
A box, a doll...but it's no ordinary plaything!

Spring Cleaning by Dave Roman & Raina Telgemeier
There really is mystery in the back of a messy closet!

The Keeper's Treasure by Jason Caffoe
A treasure inside a labyrinth inside a temple which w
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by Amulet Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
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Jesse (JesseTheReader)
Wow! I really enjoyed this. It was my first graphic novel anthology and it was fantastic. I think my favorite stories were Under the Floorboards by Emily Carroll and The Keeper's Treasure.

Raeleen Lemay
Mehhh the only story I really liked was Emily Carroll's.
Krista Regester
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Under the Floorboards is my absolute favorite from this compilation. I love when short stories are presented around one common theme and this graphic novel depicts that concept well! I'm looking forward to reading the others.
Melissa Chung
Apr 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
This collection of short stories is part of a series. I'm excited to see if each new book in the series has a different theme. This book was about strange boxes. I liked 3/5 of the stories. All of the stories had beautiful illustrations. This series is edited by Kazu Kibuishi so I didn't expect anything less.

More thoughts to come.

I said more thoughts to come, and now I'm able to talk about my thoughts lol. I borrowed this book from the library and had to return it, but before I did that I video
I've been reading Kibuishi's Amulet series with my nephew and I saw we had these Explorer collections, as well. They're like the Flight collections only for the 8-12-year-old group. I figured I'd give 'em a go and recognized several of the artists/storytellers from the Flight books.

This one was cute. I liked it just fine.

Under the Floorboards by Emily Carroll is about a sassypants asshole doll found in a box. Vaguely creepy. Not much dialogue. Clever ending.

Spring Cleaning by Dave Roman & R
Jun 12, 2013 rated it liked it

Introduction: I'm making up a pathfinder for good introductory graphic novel titles for older children (6-12 years; I also hope that it could be used as a list of core titles for librarians who might want some guidance) and I've found that it's actually an area in graphic novels I'm not very knowledgeable in. This title caught my eye it was edited by Kazu Kibuishi (of Amulet fame, which I have not read), and I've never read a graphic novel comprised of stand-alone short stories either, so I deci
Selene Matheson
Dec 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was my first anthology graphic novel read. I liked seeing the different styles of art between the authors and artists.
My favorite ratings are:
Under the Floorboards by Emily Carroll
5 Stars
Spring Cleaning by Dave Roman and Raina Telgemeier
4 Stars
The Keepers Treasure by Jason Caffoe
5 Stars
The Butter Thief by Rad Sechrist
3 Stars
The Soldier's Daughter by Stuart Livingston
3.5 Stars
Whatzit by Johane Matte
4 Stars
The Escape Option by Kazu Kibuishi
3 Stars
To find all my reviews:

When it comes to Kazu Kibuishi I have to read everything that he has written because I absolutely love his storytelling and his illustrations. I remember I bought Amulet when it first came out through my school and I had no clue about the book and yet I fell in love with the story. I did not know it was a series at the time and sold it years ago which I regret now but that is a whole different topic. I have always wanted to read this gr
Meh.. none of the stories were that great. A lot of them I found pointless and served no purpose in this collection of short graphic stories. However, I did enjoy the artwork quite a bit. I have the next two volumes in this series checked out from the library, however, I plan on returning them without reading them. I just don't have an interest to continue.
Mallory (toweroftomes)
Find this review and more fantastical things at The Leaning Tower of Tomes.

The review:

Explorer: The Mystery Boxes is a really cool graphic anthology that features seven different stories revolving around a box of some kind. Kazu Kibuishi of the Amulet series edited this collection as well as contributed to it, and this anthology additionally features the works of Emily Carroll, Dave Roman, Raina Telgemeier, Jason Caffoe, Rad Sechrist, Stuart Livingston, Stephanie Ramirez, Johane Matte, and Saymo
Tara Anderson Gold
May 03, 2012 rated it liked it
I picked up this book intending to just flip through it and see what it was about. I ended up reading the entire thing.

Essentially, this is a graphic novel short story collection all on the same theme: mystery boxes. Each story has a different author/artist and style, but all have an element of fantasy to them. Including lots of unicorns. There are seven stories:

Under the Floorboards by Emily Carroll - A wax doll comes to life, helping and hindering a girl in her chores.
Spring Cleaning by Dave
Nov 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: andrew
Recommended to Gideon by: reb livinston
Shelves: crime, frendship, other
it was good exiting and a total wow. it had a bunch of story's in one. the disappointing part is that the story on the cover is last.
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I quite enjoyed this collection of one-shot stories. I particularly liked the first one with the wax doll, both in terms of art and story. Kazu Kibuishi also did a phenomenal job. His art style is so unique and his storytelling adds just the right amount of mystery, heroism, darkness, and... something else that I'm not quite sure how to describe. 'Charm' maybe...
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
RC: 3.5 stars
Kristina Lenarczyk
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wishlist, 2017
Overall, I really enjoyed this collection more than I initially thought I would. It was interesting to see how so many people can take an idea of a single box, and do completely different things with it. This idea of an anthology just goes to show how creative and unique people can be!

I decided to rate each story individually, which you can find on my blog!
Oct 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was not what I expected, which is silly because all the reviews tell you exactly what it is. I am a goose. An interesting concept a graphic novel of short stories centered on the idea of a 'Mystery Box' each author has their own style of story telling and art which makes this a novel (HA) read. For those who enjoy graphic novels and are looking for short stories in that style of writing.
Dec 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
A collection of 7 graphic stories by a crew of talented artists.

Under the Floorboards-A girl finds a strange wax doll under a floorboard in her bedroom that causes her nothing but trouble until she tricks it back into the box it came from.

Spring Cleaning-While cleaning his closet, Oliver finds a mysterious puzzle box and puts it on sale on ebay. To his surprise a bunch of wizards are interested in buying the box.

The Keeper’s Treasure- A boy on a treasure hunt crosses paths with a mysterious cre
Callie Rose Tyler
May 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Overall 3.5- A great diverse collection. Love the theme of mystery boxes! Quick read.
Under the Floorboards- 4 Stars- While not the most original concept, the story unfolds visually and manages to be very haunting and suspenseful despite its brevity.

Spring Cleaning- 3 stars- This was a cute. The art is not my favorite but I love an understated love story.

The Keeper's Treasure- 5 stars- Very funny, seemingly simple but with a number of unexpected turns.

The Butter Thief – 3 stars- This story had th
Jennifer Haight
Apr 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Explorer, The Mystery Boxes is a compilation of seven stories by different authors and illustrators all asked to answer the question "What's in the box?" All told in a graphic novel format with stories that vary from the humorous to macabre, there is something for every reader within. This would be a fabulous tool for a writing teacher to share with a class to encourage students to push their limits of creativity and to celebrate how different each person's reaction to an assignment can be and h ...more
Jun 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
Audience: 3rd grade and up, boys and girls, reluctant readers
Appeal: This book is a graphic novel with 8 different stories by 7 authors that all revolve around a mystery box and what is inside it. I think that reluctant readers would be interested in this book because it looks like a comic, there are many different types of pictures and they are all in color, and there are 8 different short stories, so if one does not fit a reader's fancy, they can just flip to the next one. At first I thought t
I had way too high of expectations going this book because freaking KAZU KIBUISHI (queen). However, it kinda left me with a "meh" feeling. The stories felt way too short, and the authors seemed to try to fit too much into the 10-15 pages that they had. That m=being said, I did discover some fantastic new authors that I am excited on looking into, including Jason Caffoe and Stuart Livingston. And of course, it's always nice to see some of your old favourites (Emily Carroll and Kazu Kibuishi). I ...more
Apr 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Rebecca by: Susan
This is such a delightful, creative comics anthology -- the whole "you find a box with something inside" type of writing exercise. Fans of Amulet will enjoy another story from Kibuishi, as well as one by his lead production assistant, one from Raina Telgemaier (Smile), and a couple from Dreamworks storyboard artists. My favorite is "The Butter Thief" by Rad Sechrist. I also enjoy how many unicorns make appearances in different stories -- wonder if that was intentional?
Candice Snow
Mar 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
This is a compilation of different short comics each drawn by a different author. The stories range for extremely creepy (view spoiler) to the existential. Each of the comics brings an entirely different vibe and fit the corresponding story perfectly.

My favorite story would have to the first one, even though it is sure to give me nightmares tonight. It is about a young girl who finds a small wax doll in a
Jan 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
I am a big fan of Kazu Kibuishi since I saw him at the Library of Congress Book Festival a few years ago. This is a collection of stories by different graphic novel authors that all have something to do with a box and what is inside. Some of the stories are better than others. It is a good recommendation for fans of graphic novels and those reluctant or struggling readers who would rather read this genre.
nash thomas
Nov 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was very interesting. They did good on the animation of the characters i give this a five star for details and creativity. The characters are Oliver. It takes place all over but mostly on the earth and one story takes place in space. Crazy wizards come running in to Oliver's house. Because he put a mysterious box on the internet. And they keep offering him money for the box but he told them that it wasn't for sale any more. And then went out side and hid behind a bush.
Debra McCracken
Jul 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Very intriguing and enjoyable--there is scariness, funniness, mystery and beauty. Each story has a different take on a mystery box. I love graphic novels and the graphics are gorgeous. All seven creators are well-known in their field. The book is a visual feast, and the short story formatted book is a quick and delightful sampling of the author/illustrators' wares. It makes me wants to read more by all of them (some, I discovered, I have!)
This is a collection of short stories in graphic novel form. Each one centering on the contents of a mysterious box. I really loved some of these stories and didn't care for a few others so I gave it three stars overall. A nice collection though, with full color art work which I always appreciate, especially in the children's graphic novels. Kids like full color glossy pages (and so do I!)
Traci Haley
Jul 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012, graphic-novels
To quote Brad Pitt: "What's in the box?????"

I love the story collections that Kazu Kibuishi edits. The stories are always short, concise, with interesting characters and breathtaking artwork. All the ones in this particular book revolve around boxes -- magic boxes, puzzle boxes, normal boxes, boxes full of butter-stealing imps... who knew there were so many boxes??
Shari Gill
Mar 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
This graphic novel of shorts had to have been one of the most imaginative and inspiring short reads that I've touched in a while. The story lines are simple, memorable, and haunting. It makes me want to create my own works while delving deeper into the world it's created for me.
The Mystery Boxes (Explorer Book 1) is a compilation of short stories from well known comic and graphic novel artists including Kazu Kibuishi, Jason Caffoe (whose art will look very familiar to you if you've read Amulet), Johane Matte (How to Train Your Dragon and Avatar: The Last Airbender) and you may also recognize the style from Rad Sechrist who worked at Dreamworks on Kung Fu Panda and Megamind.

In every Explorer volume, you will find stories revolving around one particular theme. I
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Kazu Kibuishi (born 1978) is an American graphic novel author and illustrator. He is best known for being the creator and editor of the comic anthology Flight and for creating the webcomic Copper. He has also written (drawn) the Amulet series. The webcomic artist and noted critic Scott McCloud has said that some of Kazu Kibuishi's work is so beautifully drawn that "it hurts my hands when I look at ...more
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Explorer (3 books)
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