Thursday, October 2, 2008

Daisy Kutter

I was pleasantly surprised by Daisy Kutter and the graphic novel in general. This was my first time to read a graphic novel and I was worried because I have never really taken to comic books. However, after reading how to read a graphic novel and beginning to read, it was just like reading any other book, with some slight differences. While I thought reading a graphic novel would be easier then a regular book I was wrong. Due to the addition of pictures there are just as many details to catch. If you simply read through the words and don’t pay close attention to the pictures you are going to miss a lot of important details and literary elements. Another element of the graphic novel I enjoyed was that it played out kind of like a movie while I was reading. You can really get into the picture details and hear the sounds the characters make. I think this is great for reluctant readers. Not just because there are pictures, but also because they have to pay attention to the pictures and the details as they would a traditional book.

Moving onto the story itself. Daisy was a great character. I enjoyed that she was real. At times you laughed at her sarcasm, other times you were frustrated with her, and even more often you were cheering her on. This would be a wonderful book for girls and boys alike. While the main character is a very strong and independent female character I don’t think that this will turn away boys. Every student could be a fan of Daisy Kutter. I do think that the graphic novel format will attract more boys than girls from the start, but also think girls will realize how these types of novels can be just as entertaining as a regular book. I also love that the story shows a strong female character. It shows adolescent girls that it is ok to have unique personality traits and flaws and be a strong woman.

I do think this is a more advanced graphic novel. I do not think I would give this book to any students younger than 6th grade, and even then I recommend it for higher grade levels. I think older students would be able to appreciate Daisy’s story more and are better able to notice the small details in the pictures and in what the characters are saying.

Another part of the book I enjoyed was at the end. I thought it was great that the author described the writing and drawing process for Daisy Kutter. For students who are interested in writing their own graphic novels, or just want to see how they are produced, this is great.


Rene Saldana, Jr. said...

Heather: you are so right about the ending being among the most useful parts of this book. I mean, the writer/illustrator shares so much info on the how-to that I'd be hard pressed in a class not to at least allow students to try their hands at this genre.