Review Blog

Jul 20 2016

Anders and the volcano by Gregory Mackay

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Allen and Unwin, 2016. ISBN 9781760290030
(Ages: 7+) Graphic Novel. Anders and his trusty flying beetle Skip return from their first adventure in Anders and the comet to engage in another imaginative story while on a camping holiday near an extinct volcano. He travels with friends Bernie and Eden and his family during the school holidays, meeting up with Veronica who also has a flying beetle. Anders and new girl Veronica enjoy some flying time together before meeting up at the same camp site destination. Bernie and Eden soon find pet beetles as well, but Bernie's is a reluctant flier, showing a preference for swimming. This becomes problematic later when the friends find themselves in a tricky situation with limited time to react.
Anders is a positive role model of how to support, interact and build friendships. His actions and the words he uses with others show a maturity beyond his years. It is refreshing to see his unconditional acceptance of the choices his friends make, for instance when Bernie supports his new beetle Lump when the others go flying. Anders is inclusive of others and encourages new friendships with the people he meets on his holiday travels.
The black and white graphic novel incorporates explicit learning moments on the nature of volcanoes during the story as well as in a short appendix about how volcanoes form. The story is broken up into chapters and presents an easy read for younger readers who are just beginning the journey into graphic novels.
Annette Mesecke

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