How do you get reluctant readers to read “the classics”? Turn the classics into comic book format – the graphic novel. Paul Bunyan’s legend is treated to full comic book format, and it works. The major points of this popular tall tale (such as the creation of the Grand Canyon and Lake Superior) are covered in two to four-page spreads in which the graphics fill in for the limited text. The back matter includes a map of Paul and Babe’s travels, glossary, discussion questions, writing prompts, and log in information for Capstone Publisher’s interactive website and search engine for kids Fact Hound.
I am a fan of well-done graphic novels to entice the reluctant or struggling reader who may need visual clues to aid in reading comprehension. I feel The Tall Tale of Paul Bunyan fits the bill, but it may be overly optimistic to think this type of reader will make use of some of the back matter, in particular the discussion questions and writing prompts.
40 pages 978-1434222688 Ages 8-12
Recommended by Katherine Stehman, Teacher Librarian.
Watch out for this one, the illustrator was raised by "slimy, yet gooey, giant squids in Wisconsin." This is a classic tall tale done as a graphic novel. Paul Bunyan is delivered by the stork and dropped directly onto the family shed with a resounding Krrunnch! His loving parents take great care of him and feed him well...and then they feed him well....and then....okay, he grows to be really big. He heads off to seek adventure and meets the little blue ox, seven happy helpers, and eventually Old Man Winter. Along the way, he and Babe, the blue ox, create the land of one thousand lakes with their footprints, the Grand Canyon results from their play, and they save a town from those half bee half mosquito-bee skeeters- by outwitting them. It's a great tale of larger than life adventure and humor sprinkled throughout. The nearly cartoonish characters will offer a level of comfort to any reluctant readers and they're sophisticated enough for upper elementary readers.
Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com