Sunday, January 18, 2015

Maddy Kettle: The Adventure of the Thimblewitch - Eric Orchard

Title: Maddy Kettle: The Adventure of the Thimblewitch
Author: Eric Orchard
Publisher: Top Shelf, 2014 (Paperback)
Length: 89 pages
Genre: Children's Graphic Novel
Started: January 17, 2015
Finished: January 17, 2015

From the back of the book:

Eleven-year-old Maddy loved working in her parents' bookstore...especially when joined by her pet flying toad, Ralph. But that was before the mysterious Thimblewitch turned her mom & dad into kangaroo rats!

Now Maddy's on the adventure of a lifetime. To save her parents, she'll need to sneak past an army of spider-goblins, scarecrow warriors, and much more...Fortunately, an assortment of new friends await, including the cloud cartographers Harry and Silvio, a bear and racoon who explore the world in their moon-balloon. They'll help her along the way, but in the end, the fate of everyone will depend on Maddy's courage, compassion, and creativity.

Full of surprises and stunning artwork, Maddy Kettle is a truly magical debut from Spectrum-Award-winning cartoonist Eric Orchard. Climb aboard and let your imagination soar!

I saw a preview of this at Free Comic Book Day this past year, and since I'm always on the lookout for appropriate comics for young readers and the middle grades, I wanted to check out the whole thing.

This is the first book in a series, so I can partially forgive how fast-paced the plot was since there will be more books to flesh things out. The story begins with Maddy trying to get her parents to agree to her plan to find the Thimblewitch so they can be turned back into humans. We get a flash-back of Maddy's very Western-esque town where her parents were transformed by the Thimblewitch in the first place. When her parents are kidnapped, Maddy must travel to the Thimblewitch to get them back. Along the way she meets Harry and Silvio, who travel with her, thus solving Maddy's transportation problem. They eventually encounter the Thimblewitch and uncover the mystery of what really happened.

The plot did move quite fast, there wasn't a lot of fleshing out of anything. Maddy immediately goes from parents to rat parents to no parents, finds Harry and Silvio without much difficulty, finds the Thimblewitch almost immediately after (with no issues getting into the castle/compound), and it turns out it was all an honest mistake. So everything fell into place way too easily, to the point where I would recommend this book for younger readers, perhaps one of the first graphic novels they get introduced to, but I would imagine 9 year-olds and up would probably expect a more sophisticated plot than what I saw here.

Lovely artwork with an uncomplicated plot, perfect for beginning readers being introduced to comics and graphic novels

Thoughts on the cover:
I like the combination of the blue, yellow, purple and orange colours here; it's a very calming image for the cover.

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