Babymouse: Queen of the World by Jennifer Holm & Matthew Holm
I must admit that the thought of reading a graphic novel did not appeal to me at all. I remember trying to read the comics in the Sunday paper with my sister when I was little and I was frustrated because I couldn’t understand all of them. However, this book will not turn young readers off because they will be able to understand and relate to Babymouse. Babymouse is an imaginative character with a charming personality. There is an endearing quality about her as she tries to make good decisions and learns lessons along the way. Her eccentric personality shines through in the beginning of the story when her locker won’t open and she responds with, “TYPICAL.” I think we all can connect to her character.
Babymouse thinks that in order to be Queen of the World you have to have glamour, excitement, and adventure. She thinks that Felicia Furrypaws has it all and she is willing to do anything to be friends with her. As Babymouse tries to make friends with Felicia she continually gets brushed aside, but her faithful friend Wilson the Weasel is always there for her, accepting her for who she is. In the end, Babymouse learns an important life lesson.
While the moral of this story can be deep, the illustrations keep this novel light hearted. Most of the book is black and white with a touch of pink. However, when Babymouse goes off into her fantasy world the illustrations have a bold black border with much more pink in the background. The illustrations add to the depth of Babymouse’s character. Through the illustrations we know that Babymouse enjoys reading. There is a strong message conveyed through these illustrations. It appears that when Babymouse is trying to solve a problem she reads about it. For example, in the beginning when she thought she wanted glamour, excitement, and adventure, those were the books she was reading. As she was trying to become friends with Felicia Furrypaws she was reading Impress Friends, Cool You, and How to be Popular. In the end, when she realizes she has it all, she is reading Wow, Adventure, and Yippee!
After reading Babymouse: Queen of the World my thoughts have changed about graphic novels. This book would certainly engage and motivate a reluctant reader. The size and amount of pages would hook some children. They would be able to read the whole book and feel a sense of accomplishment. All the while, still being able to learn about narrative elements, dialogue, and character development.