Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Warriors: Into the Woods

I'm posting a graphic novel review every Tuesday in November.

You may notice a dearth of reviews of animal books on this site. Very observant of you...I can't stand them. Aside from Where The Red Fern Grows, I avoid them at all costs. Still, when I see tons of students carting around books from a series about wild cats, it's my job to check them out. I suffer for them.

Warriors is a series of novels that focus on the lives of four clans of feral cats. There seem to be a million different spin-off series, complete with mythologies and terminology. I didn't think I would be able to invest that much energy in a cat series, until I stumbled across a manga version. I randomly selected Into the Woods, which tells the love story of two felines, Sasha and Tigerstar. These star-crossed lovers (I am giggling to type this about cats) come from different worlds: Sasha is a housecat and Tigerstar is a rebellious clan leader. The majority of the story involves them catching prey and dropping it in front of each other. Not particularly gripping, but I think it would be fun for readers who are already engrossed in the series. This graphic novel is clearly the origin story of two favorite characters, and I can see where readers would be interested, as the cats' personalities are very appealing. Who doesn't love a rebel or a good girl gone bad?

The illustrations are fairly standard...they remind me of the comic books I used to read at my orthodontist's office when I was younger. Still, all of the characters are distinguishable (a feat when there are many cats on a page) and the text is easily followed. One detail I liked is that when humans are speaking, the font changes so readers know that the rest of the book is written in the cat language.

Would I add it to my classroom library? Yes, because there is a strong interest and I know that the book would not sit on the shelf for long. However, I would only add it if I could get it for a good price (the story itself is only 87 pages and the rest of the book is a preview of one of the novels) and if I could get the other two books in the series, as the story continues.

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