Graphic Novel Reviews: Raina Telgemeier

November 17, 2012

Over the past few months, I devoured five of Raina Telgemeier‘s graphic novels: the entire Baby-Sitters Club graphic novels collection and Drama.

I was a huge BSC reader back in the day, so I was excited when I first saw/heard about the graphic novels. I was interested to see how Telgemeier was going to translate the diary-heavy first-person texts to the page. Also, as someone who loved and read The Truth about Stacey approximately 8923473 times, I was really, really interested to see how Telgemeier was going to address the bedwetting thing.

What’s really sad is I had Kristy’s Great Idea on my shelf for over a year before I read it. Over a year! I have no idea why I was so resistant to starting it because I loved it. In fact, I loved all of them. The biggest surprise to me was how much I loved Claudia and Mean Janine. I didn’t remember much about it going in, but the Mimi story hit me particularly hard. My grandmother passed away earlier this year after having a stroke, so every single frame about Mimi dealing with the frustration of the stroke’s effects kind of made me want to cry. So I found that book particularly touching/moving.

Which leads me to the illustrations. I love Telgemeier’s style. Her characters are so expressive, and the drawings are sharp. The background detail adds to the story. And, obviously, she captures emotionally heavy moments really well (see above re: wanting to cry).  And that’s just in black and white!

Drama by Raina TelgemeierIn color,  Telgemeier’s drawings really pop. Drama was more fun to look at for that reason. Nice, bright colors really make the pictures, story, and characters come alive. Which was really great for Drama because it was about theater and middle school and a musical! So much fun to read, really breezy. I love the diversity of the characters Telgemeier includes in the story.

I should also mention that my daughter devoured Drama after I finished reading it as well.

In conclusion, if you haven’t read any of Raina Telgemeier’s work, you really should. She creates memorable and vibrant characters.

Oh, and I would love a page from Claudia and Mean Janine as a gift. I’m just saying.

Sources: I own Kristy’s Great Idea, got the rest from the library.

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