Review Blog

Apr 15 2014

Ubby's Underdogs: Heroes Beginnings by Brenton McKenna

cover image

Magabala, 2013. ISBN: 9781922142139.
The second title in the Ubbys Underdogs Trilogy, this book continues the story of Ubby, a tough aboriginal girl and her gang as they try to find the Chinese girl Sai Fong. Containing an assortment of over twenty characters, some of whom are animals with an assortment of unlikely talents or abilities, this is a rollicking tale of adventure, twists and turns as good strives to win over evil. Because many of the characters originate from a diverse variety of countries and backgrounds, the author seems to draw on legends and tales of each location as well. The reader is challenged to try and distinguish good from evil, as are the characters in the story. It would be interesting to read the final book to see how the series is resolved.
Despite not being a major fan of the graphic novel genre, I found the layout of this title very appealing. Generally, there were fewer than eight panels per page with striking black borders around each. This contrasted well with the brilliant white speech bubbles and clear type face which used both upper and lower case letters. The illustrations were clear and colour was used in the backgrounds to demonstrate the times depicted in each spread. I was grateful for the character blurbs at the beginning of the book as I had not read the first title in the series. Unfortunately, with two Christian schools using my library, the focus on evil spirits would possibly preclude me from adding this title to my primary school collection.
Jo Schenkel

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