CM . . . . Volume XX Number 8 . . . . October 25, 2013
In the captivating early graphic narrative of The Unkindness of Ravens, the second in the "Bigfoot Boy" series, 10-year-old Rufus uses the power of the magic totem he found in the woods at Grammy's house to turn into a big, red creature – Bigfoot Boy. Rufus' transformative totem powers are enviously acknowledged by an unkindness of trickster ravens who are eager to steal the totem from Rufus. Alongside his friend, Penny, and their sidekick squirrel, Sidney, the friends work together to protect the totem as the ravens go to great lengths to capture the magic.
Torres and Hicks' marriage of text and illustration captures a humorous and suspenseful narrative of magic and adventure. Hicks' bold, and colourful comic illustrations provide readers with a rich and vivid narrative to imaginatively explore.
Though The Unkindness of Ravens works as a stand-alone read, readers with access to the series' first volume, Into the Woods could also read it in order to gain a fuller understanding of the characters. I am looking forward to a third book in this graphic novel narrative. My curiosity is especially stirred by the illustration on the final page that presents the shape of a beastly figure peeping through the clouds. Torres and Hicks leave me wondering what will happen next. Will Rufus have another opportunity to shout, "SASQUATCH!" and transform into Bigfoot Boy? I would highly recommend The Unkindness of Ravens for school and public library collections. Readers will delight in a tale of magic, adventure, and friendship that will leave them wondering what looms ahead in Book 3. This is a great new early graphic novel series.
Natalie Schembri studies children's literature at The University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC.
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