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Explorer: The Mystery Boxes

(Explorer #1)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  6,493 ratings  ·  531 reviews
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
Paperback, 128 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by Harry N. Abrams
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Average rating 3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,493 ratings  ·  531 reviews

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Jesse (JesseTheReader)
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
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.

Dave Schaafsma
The initial attraction for this series for most people is that it is edited by Kazu Kibuishi (Amulet), but the main reason I got it at the library is that Emily Carroll wrote and drew the first story, "Under the Floorboards,"which is by far the best one in the volume, a creepy (but not too terrifying?) nightmare story of a girl who finds a doll in a box who gradually takes over her life, sort of replacing her mother. I'm fast becoming an obsessive Carroll fan-boy completist, so watch out, review ...more
Debbie Zapata
May 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020printbooks
May 3, morning ~~ Read this one and the next two in the series early this morning during Insomnia Library Hour. Review asap.

Evening ~~ Had another of my insomnia nights and after finishing Citizen Tom Paine I decided to read the three Explorer titles. I had ordered them after reading Flight Volume 1. I was and am so impressed with editor Kazu Kibuishi and the talented authors and artists he included in these books. I had a delightful night and didn't even really miss my sleep!

There are seven sto
Krista Regester
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Melissa Chung
Apr 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 & Raina

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
Dec 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Jadey (the Bookish)
Under the Floorboards ★★★★☆
Spring Cleaning ★★★★☆
The Keeper's Treasure ★★★☆☆
The Butter Thief ★★★☆☆
The Soldier's Daughter ★★☆☆☆
Whatzit ★★★☆☆
The Escape Option ★★★☆☆

Average: 3.14
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
Nathan Bartos
Sep 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading this graphic anthology, I ordered the rest of this series from my library, as well as all 8 volumes of the Flight, Vol. 1 anthologies, so I guess I enjoyed it quite a bit! ...more
Tara Gold
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 Dav
Nov 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: andrew
Recommended to Gideon by: reb livinston
Shelves: frendship, other, crime
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. ...more
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... ...more
Madeleine R
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Mystery boxes is a collection of short stories told by multiple artists. Each one has a different tone and not only is each story unique the art is beautifully done, usually with full color and each artist has a great grasp on telling stories.

My favorite follows a story about some kids who find a mystery box from another dimension and some wizards are fighting eachother to get it back. It's very comedic and good. Some of it is set in the kid's house, then the grandmothers as they fight for t
Hannah Belyea
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One can never tell what is going to be inside the box until it's opened, and when it is, the truth could very well change the world around you - or the way you see the world. Kibuishi provides an intriguing collection of short stories surrounding the mystery of boxes that will please fans and entertain newcomers. Just what could be in these boxes, and where will their contents take you? ...more
Oct 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book contains a series of short stories, and though I thought I'd be disappointed, I was actually quite surprised. All the short stories were great and I couldn't stop turning the pages. This is a good series if you want a quick read, it only takes 20 minutes to read these graphic novels. This book made me smile and giggle, and I'm so happy I came across it! ...more
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 star always.
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novel
Under The Floorboards: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Spring Cleaning: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Keeper’s Treasure: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Butter Thief: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Soldier’s Daughter: ⭐️⭐️
The Escape Option: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
3 stars

I liked this as a way to get to know new artists, and the stories were nice, but most of them felt like they were less enjoyable because there was a page limit they had to follow.
Seven short stories about boxes, and what they may or may not contain. Each story explores the events of how a box influences, or changes the protagonist outlook on their lives, and others around them.
Julie S
Feb 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: j-books, 2019
3.5 My first graphic novel anthology; I enjoyed how each author explored the concept of “what’s in the box?”
Kristina Lenarczyk
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!
ravInous mordor
Dec 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A world full of stories, but this is just one combined by little threads and common grounds.

7 stories. One idea. A mystery box.

Under the floorboards, the first short story is most definitely the best one, very creative, great but extremely evil. And Kibuishi blew my mind once more... again. Also keepers treasure is a hidden gem which you just don’t know what you are missing.
4 Stars.
Oct 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Dec 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 *Fights Censorship*
May 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jennifer Bacall
Apr 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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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