Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Graphic Novel Review - The Way Home and the Bittersweet Summer (Owly, Vol 1) by Andy Runton

Owly, Vol. 1: The Way Home & The Bittersweet SummerReading level: Children's (Age 5+)
Genre: Graphic Novel
Size: 160 pages

Publisher:   Top Shelf Productions
Release Date: September 29, 2004
ISBN:  978-1891830624
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Owly series
Source: Borrowed from Library
Rating: 4/5 stars

This book was recommended to me by one of my Goodread friends who also likes graphic novels.  It was a very cute book with adorable drawings that told a great story despite having very few words.  This is something young kids and adults alike will enjoy.

The book tells two stories.  The first is The Way Home in which Owly saves a worm from drowning and helps the worm to find his family.  The second is The Bittersweet Summer where Owly befriends some hummingbirds and struggles with how to take care of them as the summer fades.

The book has very few words, the story is almost completely told in pictures.  It is a great story that teaches about friendship and nature.  I enjoyed it and thought it was sweet and fun.  I actually became very emotionally involved with Owly as he tried to care for his hummingbird friends.

The pictures are simple, done in black and white with simple clean lines.  Somehow they manage to convey a wealth of story in each picture though.  The expressions on the animals faces are spot on.  Owly is adorable and so earnest in his need to help his fellow forest creatures.

The best thing about this book is that everyone from a very young child (3-4 years old) to an adult can enjoy the story.  I love graphic novels that span all age groups.

On a side note, I read this right after reading Grant Morrison's Arkham almost gave me mental whiplash.  This book is pretty much the opposite of everything Arkham Asylum is; I only bring it up because the difference is crazy and it was quite a change in pace :-)

Overall this was a quick, well-done, and fun read.  I would recommend it to fans of graphic novels; especially those who are interested in graphic novels that younger kids and adults can both enjoy.  The artwork is cute and conveys a wonderful story without many words.  This is a great story about friendship and teaches some about the natural world around us.  I will definitely be checking out future installments.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- 100+ Reading Challenge
- Graphic Novels Challenge List

Owly, Vol. 1: The Way Home & The Bittersweet Summer

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