Friday, August 31, 2018

Bolivar

The heft of Bolivar is going to intimidate some readers, which is a shame because it is an ideal book for developing readers who might be spooked by a 224 page graphic novel. Still, once they get started, readers will realize there is nothing to fear and that they will fly through Sean Rubin's love letter to New York.

Sybil seems to be the only one who notices the dinosaur living next door. Everyone else is busy with their New York lives, heads down in their phones or their food, so Bolivar the dinosaur is able to blend in. Sybil is intent on photographing him and proving to everyone that he is real. It takes awhile, but when Bolivar is finally revealed to the public, it does not go as expected.

After my class spoke with Rust author Royden Lepp, I try to slow down when reading graphic novels and truly appreciate the work that went into them. With Bolivar, it is essential, as there are so many gorgeous details. I reveled in the little things, like the pineapple logo on Sybil's mom's computer, and big details, like how spot on the illustrations are in the Museum of Natural History. In his acknowledgments, Rubin notes that it took five years to write Bolivar. It is obvious, and it was worth it. This is worth adding to your classroom library, nudging into the hands of a developing reader, and watching them blossom as they read such a big book.

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