Caroline the Future Librarian

Caroline Davis | LIBR 265-10 | SJSU | Wrenn-Estes

Flight (Volume 1) by Kazu Kibuishi

Title: Flight (Volume One)
Author: Kazu Kibuishi
Publisher: Villard
Date: April 2007
ISBN-13: 978-0345496362

Plot Summary: Flight (Volume One) is the first in a series of six graphic novel anthologies of short stories compiled by Kazu Kibuishi, featuring talented young artists and writers.  Although it was not a requirement for inclusion, many of the stories feature the theme of flying, such as “Air and Water” by Enrico Casarosa, which was inspired by the writings of aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.  Some contain more fanciful elements, like “Hugo Earhart” by Jake Parker, which is about a young boy accompanied by a miniature green flying pig and a flying purple whale.  Many of the artists appear to do their work using computer programs, but some have other techniques, such as in the story “Paper and String” by Jen Wang, which creates images using mixed media, including decorative paper and even photographs.  It is truly a diverse collection, and the stories range from the comedic to the tragic.

Critical Evaluation: Aside from being an impressive collection in its own right, the first volume of the Flight series would serve as a great introduction to the graphic novel genre.  Rather than sticking to a narrow vision or visual style (for instance, only featuring art that resembles the anime style), Flight truly incorporates a wide variety of young talent within the graphic arts community – ranging from the cartoonish to the traditionally artistic.  It was incredible how much story could be packed into each short contribution – the visual element really expanded on the included text and made the stories deeper and understood in different ways.  In this instance, a picture really is worth a thousand words.  With the wide range of artistic vision, it would have been nice to have a bit more of a coherent theme, to thread through the stories and make the entire volume more cohesive. In any case, Flight is a phenomenal book and deserves a spot on the shelf.

Reader’s Annotation: This graphic novel is a collection of short stories from several talented young artists and writers.

Author Information: Kazu Kibuishi is the founder and editor of the Flight Anthologies, a critically acclaimed comics series, as well as the creator of Daisy Kutter: The Last Train, a winner of the YALSA Best Books for Young Adults Award.

Born in Tokyo, Japan, Kazu moved to the U.S. with his mother and brother when he was a child. He graduated from Film Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara, and then moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. He currently works as a full-time comic book artist.  Kazu lives with his wife in Alhambra, California.  (Source)

Genre: Graphic Novel, Alternate Formats, Short Stories

Curriculum Ties: Art, Graphic Art

Booktalking Ideas:
1) Do you think the graphic novel illustrations translate well into short stories?
2) What was your favorite story from the collection?  Why?
3) Did you find that the visuals or text was more important for understanding the stories?

Interest Age: 12 and older.

Challenge Issues: None.

Challenge Defense Ideas: This book has no apparent challenge issues, but if a challenge comes up:

• Become familiar with the book and its content.

• Refer to the collection development policy of the library, if none, see here to develop one right away.

• Refer to reviews available for viewing on Amazon.com.

• Try to get reviews of the book from teens who have read it.

Selection: I was looking for more graphic novels to add to my collection, and Flight caught my attention because Library Journal said of the volume: “Regardless of where it’s shelved, this book belongs in every library.”

Extras:

Official Flight website.

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May 15, 2010 Posted by | Graphic Novels | , | Leave a comment