Coming up in November from Archaia, Bolivar is a graphic novel by Sean Rubin aimed at young readers, and features main character Sybil as she tries to unravel a mystery about her strange neighbor next door.
Set in New York City, where the inhabitants are so busy that they don’t notice the strange appearance or behavior of Sybil’s neighbor Bolivar, the book explores a rather winning premise: that a dinosaur could roam New York and it’s possible that no one would even notice. No one but Sybil, at least.
Bolivar, however, gets drawn into a complicated situation that leads to an adventure at City Hall and the Natural History Museum and he has to decide whether to reveal his true identity to the world.
This book has the potential to introduce many interesting themes to young readers–the idea of making unusual but rewarding friendships, the tendency of the adult world to overlook the exciting details in life, and the role one friend can have in helping another build their identity.
Sean Rubin’s artwork is very appealing, with lovely hatchwork style and a watercolor palette. The book’s storytelling format is a mixture of picture book exposition–with images interspersed with white space containing text, and full-on comic panel composition with speech balloons.
As such it’s an “in-between” book that’s perfect for teaching kids the visual literacy of comics. They can explore the “silent” illustrations as well as watching the speech dynamics between characters and the relationship between panels as the story unfolds. The comic font being used is also large and clear, making it even easier to read for those who might not have read comics before.
The graphic novel being released in November will also be substantial–a 224 page hardcover that is the kind of high-quality work that’s bound to be read over and over again, discovering new details in the artwork with each new approach.
Look out for Bolivar, from Archaia, an imprint of Boom! Studios, this November 2017.