NetGalley is so great but also terrible because I end up requesting a buttload of books that I know I likely won’t get around to reading anytime soon.
THANKFULLY I was able to request 2 graphic novels in exchange for a review, which is a lot easier to read than a full length novel!!!
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THE LITTLE BLACK FISH RELEASE: 3 MAY 2016
illustrations by Bizhan Khodabandeh & story by Samad Behrangi
Based on the Persian children’s classic by Samad Behrangi, this book is about a young fish’s courage to question authority and strike out on her own..
An inquisitive little fish decided to question authority and leave the safety of her own home to venture out into the expansive sea. The creatures she meets along the way teach her important lessons and make her learn the most valuable treasure in life: freedom.
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I loved how this read like a folk tale rather than just a bedtime story for kids! It had the subtle but not so subtle meaning and I guess, a moral too, and was still imaginative to keep kids interested for long enough.
The art in this is also really lovely. It’s a kind of illustration I haven’t really seen before, let alone utilized in a graphic novel setting. It almost reminds me of the kind of doodles I used to do in class where I’d just swirl a line around to create loops and blobs and then come around and connect at where I started, and then colour in the spaces so that no two colours touch. That kind of fluidity I think really works with the story and the feeling you get while reading it and looking at the art, is a perfect match.
This story is even more powerful when you take into account of the historical context. Behrangi was an Iranian teacher, social critic, folklorist, translator, who was most famous for his children’s books. He was a leftist at a time when such ideologies were dangerous to have. And is obvious by the story, he would always encourage individuals, especially the children of the poor, to take charge of their futures and to change their circumstances by their own initiatives. He died at the age of 28 in an apparent drowning, but it was also rumoured that the regime at the time had a hand in his death.
All in all, this really is a lovely story that’s been done justice by the illustrator. And seeing as this was written with children in mind, I don’t see why this couldn’t be read to younger kids while they admire the art.
THE LITTLE BLACK FISH: 4 Books!
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TAKE IT AS A COMPLIMENT
by Maria Stoian
Bringing together the voices of males and females of all ages, the stories in this collective graphic memoir reflect real life experiences of sexual abuse, violence and harassment.
Each experience is brought to life by Maria Stoian’s exceptional artwork. Her unique and varied styles powerfully reflect the tone and mood of the different stories and in just a few pages express the complex emotions felt by victims of sexual abuse. Covering acts such as sexual violence, public sexual harassment, domestic abuse and child abuse, this is a reminder for survivors that they are not alone and a call for all of us to take action.
The stories clearly show that assault of any type is not an honour bestowed on anyone. It is not a compliment.
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Ok wow. This graphic novel is INCREDIBLY powerful. If you’ve never been assaulted or abused in anyway you should read this. Even if you have, you should read this. If cat calling makes you nervous or even if someone you know has suffered from any of the above, you should read this. Basically you NEED to read this regardless of your gender or sexual identity. This graphic novel is SO SO SO SO SO IMPORTANT. It hurts and makes you cringe and makes you feel uncomfortable and makes you want to curl up into a ball and importantly, makes you feel valid and justified in your feelings.
Obviously, extreme trigger warnings for this graphic novel. But I feel like that is extremely obvious from the get go. Anyhow, approach with caution if you are not prepared to cope with these subjects.
Last things: I thought for the entire time while reading this that it was illustrated by each person who was telling their story or moment, but was surprised to learn that it’s been illustrated by just the one person!! I’m sure I knew this before, but just completely forgot when it came to reading… So that should tell you just how visually engaging this book is. It made me think it was a bunch of different peoples art instead of just the one!!
And lastly, I think it’s excellent that the people that these stories come from, are just as varied as the art styles. They come from both women AND men, as well as people of colour and people with different sexual identities.
TL;DR – READ THIS. THE HYPE IS JUSTIFIED!!! THIS IS IMPORTANT READING!!!!
TAKE IT AS A COMPLIMENT: 5 Books!
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