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Snapdragon

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Kat Leyh’s Snapdragon is a magical realist graphic novel about a young girl who befriends her town’s witch and discovers the strange magic within herself.

Snap’s town had a witch.

At least, that’s how the rumor goes. But in reality, Jacks is just a Crocs-wearing, internet-savvy old lady who sells roadkill skeletons online. It’s creepy, sure, but Snap thinks it's kind of cool, too.

Snap needs a favor from this old woman, though, so she begins helping Jacks with her strange work. Snap gets to know her and realizes that Jacks may in fact have real magic—and an unlikely connection to Snap’s family’s past.

224 pages, Paperback

First published February 4, 2020

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About the author

Kat Leyh

88 books403 followers
Kat Leyh is a Chicago based writer and artist. She’s best known as the current co-writer and cover artist for the series Lumberjanes, and for her queer superhero webcomic Supercakes. She’s also worked as a cover artist, and back-up writer/artist for several BOOM! Studios series.

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5 stars
6,814 (60%)
4 stars
3,309 (29%)
3 stars
885 (7%)
2 stars
118 (1%)
1 star
68 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,020 reviews
Profile Image for Kat.
256 reviews78.7k followers
December 31, 2020
that was.....completely wonderful. great for fans of the prince & the dressmaker, or if you’re just looking for a wholesome graphic novel time 🥺
Profile Image for s.penkevich.
734 reviews5,020 followers
October 5, 2022
Snapdragon by Kat Leyh is absolutely charming and heartwarming. Seriously, pick this up right now. Leyh, known for her work on The Lumberjanes and her webcomic SuperCakes, has crafted a really delightful and robust narrative with plenty of side-plots, flashbacks and a cast of dynamic characters that all centers on the theme of how looks can be deceiving. Even better, this book is full of wonderful inclusive representation and trans positivity. The story follows Snapdragon--there is a family tradition to name daughters after favorite flowers--as she befriends an old woman everyone believes to be a witch. Full of magic, mystery and positive life lessons, Snapdragon is one of the very best graphic novels I’ve read lately.

The inclusivity is this book is wonderful. Set in a trailer park, there is a lot of racial and age diversity in the heroes as well as lesbian and transgender representation. It’s a book that reminds you, however, that who you are isn’t how society might initially typecast you. Snap is thought to be a weird and angry, troubled child by her peers. But she is quite a charming girl eager to learn with a great capacity for knowledge. The older woman who cleans up roadkill is thought to be a witch, especially as when she is outdoors she wears a black trenchcoat, fairly witchlike hat and has an eyepatch. But indoors she is a tender old woman in crocs and graphic tees who used to be an unlicensed dirtbike racing star. Even the mystery of the demon that has stalked Snap’s family for several generations may not be as sinister as its initial impression would have you believe.

One thing about graphic novels I’ve always half-struggled with is that they tend to feel fairly short or truncated (which like, I get, that's a lot of art to create) and so much amazing world-building or set-up resolves fairly quickly. While still only being around 230pgs, Snapdragon feels very well-rounded and full with multiple plotlines being addressed and the threading of flashbacks to the present giving it the feel of a minor epic. Leyh excels at letting quick details or recalls to earlier statements give a lot of depth and expansion--especially emotionally--to her story. It is an upbeat tale with plenty of grit and the ending is extremely adorable. Even the climactic conflict that suddenly occurs near the end manages to be massaged into the plot well enough to not feel abrupt and the resolution is more of an emotional epiphany than narrative one where the storylines just happen to appropriately come to their conclusion around it.

This book is simply a joy and Leyh’s colorful and detailed artwork truly brings it to life. This is a great book about believing in yourself and finding your own way in the world even if those around you may think it is weird. It is also just really fulfilling and positive with plenty of withcraft and friendship to go around. Highly recommended.
5/5
Profile Image for Korrina  (OwlCrate).
193 reviews4,576 followers
January 14, 2020
I loved this weird little book. Unique story, great diversity, beautiful friendships. And it spoke to my roadkill-loving soul haha.
Profile Image for Maia.
Author 27 books1,950 followers
February 27, 2020
This comic is stellar! It is- *chef's kiss* -everything I want out of a middle grade book which has both queer and trans characters and also magic and mystery. I've been a fan of Kat Leyh since the Super Pancakes days. This new book is such a wonderful continuation of the themes that drew me to her work in the very beginning! The art is so pleasing, all of the characters hits a sweet spot between realism and cartoon that makes me curl my toes with with pleasure. Snapdragon (Snap for short) is a latchkey kid, an oddball with a love of horror movies and no real friends. Her single mom is very loving but is often away at night classes. When her dog goes missing, Snap thinks to go look in the house of the town's rumored witch's house... a spooky cabin surrounded by brambles and full of bones. But the witch isn't quite what she appears, and when Snap reappears at her door with a box full of orphaned raccoon babies a friendship begins to develop between them. Little do they know that bonds of history, family and enchantment tie them together in ways no one could have predicted.
Profile Image for Calista.
3,792 reviews31.2k followers
March 6, 2020
Another find from the staff recs at the library. This is an odd one. We see a girl named Snapdragon, goes by Snaps, who decides to befriend the elderly town witch. It's simply rumors and everyone is scared of her. Snaps learns how to find dead animals and bury them and she finds she can see their spirit and help them move on. The old witch is named jacks and she makes a living seeing the skeletons of these animals online. She digs up the bones and begins to set them. Snaps comes up with the idea of putting the bones in a position that makes them look like they are moving.

There is a love story angle in here. It was fairly obvious. I still enjoy it.

Several of the characters are LGTB in some way. There is a lot of gender fluidity in this one.

Snaps dog has 3 legs and he is a cutie.

I thought the artwork was fantastic. The story had some odd angles that made this very appealing to me. I enjoyed it very much.

Witches work very well in a graphic novel format. Let's have more good stories with them.
Profile Image for Charlie.
79 reviews279 followers
October 25, 2022
Snapdragon has snuck its way into my heart.

Kat Leyh is an exceptional storyteller. I loved that there were two parallel narratives in Snapdragon. The main story follows Snap and Jacks as the elder witch teachers her all about magic, while the second story revisits the past and explores Jacks' history. The past informs the present in this story, and it was interesting to see how Jacks' relationship with Snap’s grandmother informed her friendship with the younger girl.

The magic and exploration of spirits was incredibly engaging, but it was the heart-warming story of multiple generations of queerness that made me fall in love with the narrative. The butch rep was wonderful. Jacks being butch was not her defining quality, but it felt like a seamless and important part of her identity. I appreciated how each character’s identity was clear and consistent. The trans rep was normalised and accepted. Snap herself had a distinct voice, and I always felt like her actions made sense for her age and established identity. The relationships were complex, and I especially enjoyed Snap’s relationship with her mother.

There was something so lively and bright about Snapdragon. The colouring and art had an almost whimsical feel. Coupled with the brilliant characterisation, Snapdragon was truly a masterclass in what makes a good graphic novel work. This was pure joy.

I post about queer books on: Instagram Twitter TikTok
Profile Image for Mir.
4,781 reviews4,986 followers
August 30, 2020
This was really good! Strong but not idealized characters, deals with serious issues without getting overly dark, realism leavened with fantasy. Lots of animals.

I don't love this art style but it definitely works for this story.
Profile Image for Magrat Ajostiernos.
549 reviews3,756 followers
November 1, 2021
Me ha gustado muchísimo este cómic.
Lo tiene todo: brujas, magia, animalillos adorables, representación y misterios familiares. Además el centro de la historia tiene que ver con esas personas que se sienten diferentes y que finalmente encuentran su lugar (o se encuentran a sí mismas).
En fin, una delicia que no puedo dejar de recomendar a cualquier tipo de público y a todas las edades (además el dibujo y el color me han parecido maravillosos)
Profile Image for Skye Kilaen.
Author 14 books291 followers
October 31, 2020
Fantastic & diverse graphic novel that my husband and I both adored, and I know our 13 year old is going to love. A middle-school girl who feels like an outsider encounters a "witch" in the woods and finds out all *kinds* of secrets about the world and her own family. A variety of lovely queer rep, a fantastic girl protagonist, her mother is awesome, her dog is wonderful, and wow I JUST LOVED THIS. I'm sure other people have written reviews that actually talk about the book well instead of just doing a little happy dance, but right now I'm stuck on my happy dance.
Profile Image for Robin Stevens.
Author 48 books2,026 followers
January 19, 2021
An offbeat, proudly weird and very wonderful graphic novel about being yourself (and ghost possums) (8+)

*Please note: this review is meant as a recommendation only. Please do not use it in any marketing material, online or in print, without asking permission from me first. Thank you!*
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,610 reviews5,009 followers
December 16, 2022
Oh my gosh, this was one of the cutest, best graphic novels I've read all year and I adored everything about this. Snapdragon is about a spunky young girl who finds herself unexpectedly befriending the "town witch", who is actually an incredible old butch woman whose hobby is collecting roadkill carcasses and articulating their skeletons (to then hand off to collectors, museums, etc.).

I thought the plot was so unique and fun, and I loved the art and dialogue, but what sold me on Snapdragon most of all was the way I fell for these characters! Snap is so lovable, Jacks is a trip, and Lu is precious and wholesome as pie. I even loved Snap's mom and granny, and I absolutely lost it over the backstory with Jessamine, Snap's grandmother. Also, the fox?! I won't spoil anything, but my heart. ♥

If there is one graphic novel I can convince you to pick up this year, please let it be this one!

Representation: Snapdragon and her family are Black, Lu is Black and trans, Snap is GNC (uses she/her & identifies as a girl but dresses masc), Jacks is a lesbian and is missing an eye, Snap's grandmother Jessamine is bi or pan (unspecified)

Content warnings for:

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Profile Image for Prabhjot Kaur (Away).
1,030 reviews134 followers
August 19, 2022
When Snapdragon's dog, Good Boy goes missing, she finds him at the town's alleged witch's house but when she finds out that the alleged witch took care of Good Boy, she's grateful and wants the alleged witch's help to take care of baby possums. There, Snapdragon learns how wrong everyone is about Jacks (the alleged witch) in ways that matter.

After reading all the rave reviews, I automatically wanted to read this. Whilst it is a pretty good read, I did not enjoy it as much as the majority out there. I love how diverse and inclusive it is. I love the story. I love the strangeness of it. I also love the characters. But I did not love the art as much as I had wanted to, I felt it was a bit clunky and inconsistent. I also felt the magic system wasn't explained properly and that ending felt rushed too. Overall, it is still a solid read and I would read a sequel without thinking twice.

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Rod Brown.
4,957 reviews164 followers
August 27, 2020
I knew nothing about this book when I started reading, but I found myself quickly swept away by a feel-good fantasy about roadkill(!), magic, and nonconformists with LGBTQ+ and Black American characters. I loved the art and the writing. And here's my vote for a sequel ASAP.
Profile Image for Lindsey Lynn (thepagemistress).
373 reviews93 followers
February 7, 2020
This was literally perfect! I loved everything about it. So much diversity!!! The story was so important and all about acceptance in every shape, color and size. Just a dash of magic. It's my favorite read of the year!
Profile Image for Jessica.
563 reviews775 followers
September 14, 2021
I received a copy of this book for free as part of an Instagram book tour (Storygram Tours) I did to promote the book.

This was such a cute graphic novel!

The story was so heartwarming. I loved how Jacks and Snapdragon’s backgrounds and pasts were connected. There were some parts where I was wondering on the relevance of some things (like the story of One-Eyed Tom), but it all came together at the end.

However, in regards to the plot, I wanted more about the magic. Since this is a book about a witch, naturally there is magic, but it was a little vague on how it all worked. I would have loved to seen it explored in more detail.

The diversity and representation in this book is amazing! There was so much black and LGBTQ representation. For example, Snapdragon’s friend, Lulu is transgender. I loved seeing how Lulu slowly came out to be the person she was meant to be!

The art style worked well with the story. The color use in particular was incredibly well done. I liked how vibrant the art was.

Lastly, I thought they should have stuck with the original name of the novel, Roadkill Witch. Snapdragon is too basic of a name for this slightly odd (in a good way) graphic novel.

Overall, this was a charming graphic novel with a dash of magic. If you’re looking for a quick read this spooky season, give this one a try!
Profile Image for Maksym Karpovets.
328 reviews123 followers
April 4, 2021
Доволі приємна лампова історія про дівчину на дивне ім'я Снепдреґон (англомовна назва антиринума чи ротиків по-народному), яка навідується до місцевої відьми й заодно жінки із розбитим серцем. Снеп спочатку боїться її, але потім по��тупово навіть навчиться контролювати свою магічну енергію, яка врешті допоможе їй впоратись із певним сімейним непорозумінням (у чоловічому роді). Річ у тім, що жіночка збирає збитих машинами тварин, закопує їх на цвинтарі й потім вже зберігає їхні скелети, щоб продати для природничих музеїв. Ба більше, вона бачить їхні душі й може спрямовувати у правильне русло.

Найбільш цінне у мальописі є його дивовижна літня атмосфера, яку авторка навчилась конструювати ще в Lumberjanes. Яскравий і динамічний малюнок робить цю історію насамперед для підлітків різної статі, а далі вже для більш широкої аудиторії. Робота з обличчями, рухом може навіть нагадати манґу, але це більше стилізація, побічний вплив східного стилю, який гарно тут асимілювався із американською незалежною школою.

Друга важлива річ, звісно ж, це інклюзивність. Старша подруга Снеп не приховує, що вона лесбійка, яка певною мірою ізолювалась від світу через відсутність розуміння і прийняття. Усе ж тоді не було ані прайдів, ані інклюзивної політики, тому бути інакшою все ж мало суттєві обмеження. Далі кращий друг Лу робить перехід десь посеред історії, стаючи дівчиною. Навіть не пам'ятаю, де я зустрічав, щоб в коміксах так легко розповідали про трансґендерний перехід і взагалі подібну тематику. Тут немає осуду чи стигматизації, цей світ (усе ж більше утопічний) швидше про гармонійне співіснування різних людей, особистосте1, яким просто потрібна любов і повага.

Ця графічна історія достатньо цілісна й вичерпна. Тут нема незакритих сюжетних ліній чи нерозкритих персонажів, хоча й вони справді западають у душу. Рідко коли можна зустріти настільки органічний світ, де лгбт+ тема не набуває якогось випуклого, нав'язливого характеру, а існує органічно, спокійно з іншими контекстами. Загалом, тут навіть не про ґендер, а інклюзивність, тобто прийняття іншого людьми й самим собою. Не випадково це відбувається у підлітковому мальописі, адже саме в цей вік відбуваються ключові зміни в ідентичності.
Profile Image for Jay G.
1,197 reviews465 followers
September 28, 2019
Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfer...

I received a copy of this graphic novel in exchange for my honest review

Snapdragon has always felt like an outcast in her small town. She befriends the town witch, Jacks, who agrees to teach her magic.

I LOVED THIS GRAPHC NOVEL WITH MY WHOLE HEART! I loved how there were very serious topics discussed in such easy, simple ways. For example, Snap's friend Lu is transgender. At the beginning of the story, they are closeted but with the love and support of their friends and family, they are able to embrace who they are. I loved how subtle the shift was and how it wasn't made a central focus of the book. I absolutely adored every character in this graphic novel. Snap is such a feisty, loving girl and I was rooting for her the entire time. Lu was such a sweetheart and I loved how they supported Snap in everything she was doing, no matter how bizarre her endeavors were. I loved Snap's mother, Vi and how hard-working she was to provide for her family. Jacks was amazing and such a humble little old lady. I loved how she mentored Snap in her magic studies and never shut her down when she made mistakes. She was extremely supportive and just wanted what was best for her. Also, there is a three-legged ADORABLE pupper, named Good Boy, so what's not to love? I also really enjoyed the mystery aspect of this book and discovering the hidden history between Jacks and Snap. It was just such a sweet story and I LOVE HOW IT ENDED.

The colours and artwork in this was so well done. I loved how bright it was in some places, but then switched to dark and gloomy depending on what was happening in the plot. The facial expressions on the characters are great and really get their feelings across in the moment.

Please, please pick this up when it is published in February, you won't regret it.
Profile Image for rachel, x.
1,671 reviews853 followers
September 21, 2022
this was the book equivalent of 🥺️🥺️

it's about a young girl named snapdragon who accidentally befriends the local witch & ends up learning how to use magic for good. it is so pure & wholesome, while also being twisty & enthralling. a true, absolute delight.

Trigger warnings for .

Representation: Snapdragon (mc) is Black; Jacks (sc) is a lesbian; Lulu (sc) is a Black trans girl; Black & sapphic scs.

BlogTrigger Warning DatabaseStoryGraph
Profile Image for Juan Naranjo.
Author 2 books2,164 followers
July 5, 2021
Snaodragon es una niña muy especial que siempre está deseosa de vivir aventuras. Las circunstancias le llevan a hacerse amiga de una anciana con fama de bruja que vive en su pueblo… y esa será la puerta para descubrir una nueva pasión y una nueva habilidad que le ayudará a hacer del mundo un lugar mejor.

Misterio, aventuras, amistad, familia y magia. Este cómic juvenil conjuga a la perfección una fórmula que asegura excelentes ratos de lectura para todo tipo de lectores de cualquier edad. A mí me ha conquistado por su capacidad de mezclar fantasía, historia familiar y temas sociales. Me ha parecido original, sorprendente y encantador. Es, además, uno de esos libros que ‘no trata sobre la diversidad’, sino en los que la diversidad es una realidad inherente a la historia y ya está, no se le da demasiadas vueltas al asunto. Y eso me parece muy valioso.

¿SPOILER?
Creo, sin embargo, que merece la pena destacar algo que se ve muy poco en literatura: uno de los personajes principales, quien vertebra la historia, es una lesbiana anciana y butch. Estos tres conceptos suelen ser tan invisibles en literatura que me ha maravillado leer una historia con un maravilloso personaje que, además, reúne estas características.
Profile Image for Laura.
1,352 reviews199 followers
April 15, 2020

Snapdragon by Kat Leyh is a graphic novel bubbling with energy and magic. And friendship! I loved these characters and the bonds they formed. The connections we find in ourselves and others are what make our days special in this world. Discovering who we are AND people to support and surround us is the light in the sky, the sparkle in the glitter, and the joy of it all! Snap learns that and so much more when she comes face to face with the town witch, a woman rumored to have fed her eye to the devil and casts spells with bones from the animals she eats. Is there any truth in the rumors? Read and find out!

I truly loved Snap—especially the look in her eyes. Readers will see her strength and fearlessness on every page. Her heart and spirit stirred all the elements—love, nature, diversity, witch craft, kindness, identity---together to form a fun, big-hearted, page turner.

I can’t wait to see more from Kat Leyh. Will we see more of Snap and the gang? I hope so.

Highly recommended.

p.s. I actually prefer the original title—Roadkill Witch. :) Now that’s a title that jumps out at ya!

Profile Image for Hannah.
225 reviews1 follower
Read
October 3, 2019
SNAPDRAGON is whip-smart and fiercely embraces its eccentricity, just like its eponymous character. This witchy coming-of-age is a celebration using your powers for good and finding people who love you for who you are.
Profile Image for iz.
607 reviews
February 10, 2020
this was absolutely adorable, I love love loved the characters and the art style and everything!!!
Profile Image for Scottsdale Public Library.
3,153 reviews193 followers
Read
April 20, 2021
This excellent graphic novel has received some well-deserved praise, both for its engaging story and memorable characters and chiefly for its theme of acceptance of the differences among people.

Snap, as she prefers to be called, is a bit of an outsider at her school, with one true friend, Louis (who prefers to be called Lulu), until she meets a witch, Jack, who is a loner herself. Together, Snap and Jack form a friendship based on their respect for the animals around them and the ability to perform magic.

The book is a great blend of fantasy and realism, which many will enjoy reading.
Profile Image for Jen .
2,457 reviews28 followers
February 4, 2020
I went into this not really knowing what to expect and it completely blew me away. This book is incredibly diverse and raises interesting thoughts about determining who we are as individuals.

I wasn't a huge fan of the artwork; sometimes pretty, sometimes amazingly ugly. The storyline and characters were what blew me away. This has some sad parts, for example, all of the roadkill, but it does have a "circle of life" type of vibe to it. The magic system wasn't really explained, for example, who has it and is it a skill that anyone can develop or only those who have the ability can develop if they try? No clue.

Due to the artwork and the not overly understandable magic system, I would say this is 3.5 stars. Rounded down, because if I have pictures, I want them to be consistent. Also the ending, while HEA, was a tad on the unrealistic side for me. It kind of drew me out of the book. I did like it, it made me smile, but it didn't feel realistic, if that makes any sense. I'm not talking about the second-chance lovers, that was AWESOME, but the best friend with the almost bully older brothers being ok with his transformation. That seemed a tad too pat to me. 3, amazingly diverse and heart-warming ending, stars. Due to the subject matter involving the dead animals, I would say this is better for older middle grade on up.

My thanks to NetGalley and First Second Books for an eARC copy of this book to read and review.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Loz.
1,277 reviews15 followers
February 16, 2020
This book is phenomenal. Such a well crafted story, tight and exciting and full of true goodness and heart. The art is unique and expressive and so good. The colors are visceral. The characters and representation true to life and vibrating with deliberate care. I loved it. Absolute highest of recommendations.
Profile Image for Danielle.
Author 2 books222 followers
October 25, 2021
A book for outsiders, open to others and to possibility.

"Witches don't fit into the roles we're supposed to. So we're always on the outside. And so, witches got made into scary things to be feared. To excuse the cruel things done to us. That's what scared folks still do."

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