The Comic Book War

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The Comic Book WarThe Comic Book War by Jacqueline Guest
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First of all a big congratulations to the author Jacqueline Guest who has just been appointed as a member of the Order of Canada, Canada’s highest civilian honour. She is a lively writer who strives to encourage kids to rise to their full potential.
Honestly, it’s a strange coincidence that I just finished reading The Comic Book War. I’d put it off because I didn’t want to read yet another story with the backdrop of World War II. But the cover kind of pulsed at me from my bedside pile of potential.
I loved The Comic Book War.
First of all it’s a great home front story with a different perspective on the war. Robert Tourond is the youngest brother of four left behind as his siblings go off to fight. The way he deals with his anxieties about them is to read comic books and predict the outcomes of battles through their plotlines. He develops a deep superstition that he must read every new issue to keep his brothers safe. In order to earn money for his obsession he works as a telegraph delivery boy alongside a wonderful strong girl character Charlie. It was fascinating to read about this delivery process. I can’t imagine having to deliver countless missing in action telegraphs to parents after a big battle.
Jacqueline used great skill to incorporate comic books we won’t know in a way that we can feel the main character’s passion for them. The takeaway for me is that art, in this case comic books, can be a great source of comfort and distraction in times of trouble. As a grandparent of eight, arts educator, and writer (and former comic book lover) myself, I also am reminded that we should honour whatever our young people are interested in.

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Pong and Ping Pins–New Book Present

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Authors need to acknowledge their own creations and buy themselves gifts. This is to help fortify us for the tough world out there that perhaps doesn’t celebrate our work enough. I decided to reward myself for The Great Mistake Series with a specially designed and handmade pin by Cathy Disbrow, a designer and illustrator extraordinaire. (The name of her company is Woolly Doodles, have a look at her work over at http://www.woollydoodles.com) The first stage is selecting sketches. These are of Pong, the rescue greyhound in the story, and Ping, a Jack Russell largely based on my dog Mortie. The top two are the ones I chose.

In the story the dogs are described as a miss matched wagon team, one big, silent and powerful, Pong; the other small, bark and bold, Ping.  They are already earning me great reviews. “The descriptions of canine exuberance, however, are delightful and the best parts of this quick read and first in a promised mystery series.”

Pay no attention to the “however” which  is why I need to have this piece of art created for myself.

 

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