Sunday, May 22, 2011

Around the World... Matt Phelan

Matt Phelan has a wonderful blog, have you seen it?  If not, check it out by clicking on his name.  He's become one of my favorite illustrators.    
     Of course, when I saw his latest graphic novel at IRA, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it.  It's a whimsical journey about three adventurers--Thomas Stevens, Joshua Slocum, and Nellie Bly.  Thomas Stevens traveled in 1884 from San Francisco to Boston on a 50-inch bicycle.  Joshua Slocum was the first man to sail solo around the world in 1895.  Nellie Bly was a pioneer journalist who traveled around the world to beat the record of Phileas Fogg in 1889.  In typical Matt Phelan detail, he captures their adventures in graphic form.  It's beautifully drawn (as was his previous graphic novel, The Storm in the Barn) and he captures each tale in the spirit in which each adventurer must have lived.  He weaves an exciting story of three historical characters who whose bold endurance and stamina go beyond bravery.  Their willingness to focus on tasks some thought were unattainable paved the way for others who dared to dream!  The first line... It all began, as many great adventures begin, with a story... is perfect!
     I have the Advance Reading Copy from Candlewick Press and I can't wait to see the full color copy (coming October 2011).  If you're like me, you'll fall in love with his artwork.  Brilliant!
     I can see using parts of this book during a study of inferring.  But, mostly, I think it will help learners see how important it is to have a dream... and to go for it!
And thank you to Candlewick Press for the copy of the book! 

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