Jellaby Vol. 1 by Kean Soo

Kidlit bloggers from the good old days of, well, a couple of years ago, will remember when our own Betsy Bird hit it big on the blog scene. She moved on up to School Library Journal with A Fuse #8 Production, ensuring that new scores of readers would be treated not only to beloved recurring features such as Video Sunday and Hot Men of Children's Literature, but also to perceptive, detailed, and funny reviews.

As part of this year's Cybils Graphic Novels panel, Betsy brings her characteristic wit to reviewing works of visual narrative for children and teens. Earlier in the year, she reviewed Jellaby (Vol. 1) by Kean Soo. This charming story, suitable for ages 8 and up, follows a young girl, Portia, who recently moved with her mother to a new town. She hasn't really made friends at school…but she HAS discovered an adorable giant purple monster in the backyard. Betsy describes Soo's art style as expressionistic but subtle, with appealing characters.

[T]he moment I read a mere three panels of this graphic novel I was a goner. "In love" doesn't even begin to cover it. I save my adoration for works of children's fiction that go above and beyond the call of duty and Jellaby is one of those comics that can charm you with the merest sigh or shuffle of the feet.

Click here to read the full review.