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Gr 2–5—Bird and Squirrel crash-land at the South Pole, where they meet a spear-wielding penguin named Sakari, who believes Bird to be the Chosen One. Legend has spoken of a flying bird who will bring peace and prosperity to their penguin village, currently under threat by the Great Whale. Despite Squirrel's insistent pragmatism, Bird plays into the villagers' newfound hope and relishes in the attention of being a saviour to the people. When Squirrel discovers that the chief is actually planning on offering Bird to the Great Whale, he and Sakari devise a plan to save his best friend and, with any luck, the rest of the village. Burks's follow-up to Bird & Squirrel on the Run (Scholastic, 2012) wastes no time in dropping readers into the central conflict. The tension of Bird's impending consequences is balanced well with the humour of a blissfully ignorant defender and the bewildered, jittery friend. The dialogue is minimal, and much of the scenes are communicated through the characters' facial expressions and gestures. The contrast in colours of the different kinds of ice provides a great variety of settings. The panel work includes illustrations that bleed out from the frames, contributing to the action and pace of the narrative. The brightly coloured, glossy images are absorbing to the eye and the characters' plotlines are intertwined, building suspense as well as ample opportunities to play characters off of one another. Consider this a first purchase for graphic novel collections.—Matthew C. Winner, Ducketts Lane Elementary School, Elkridge, MD

Product Details

About the Author

James Burks spent fifteen years working in the animation industry on various movies and television shows, including The Emperor's New Groove, Atlantis, Treasure Planet, Space Jam, The Iron Giant, Wow Wow Wubbzy, and most recently on Fan Boy & Chum Chum. James is the author of the Bird & Squirrel graphic novel series for Scholastic, as well as the illustrator for the Branches series Haggis and Tank Unleashed. James lives in Valencia, California.

Reviews

Praise for BIRD & SQUIRREL ON THE RUN "The brightly colored panels and cartoon artwork attract the eye and complement the engaging, fast-paced story."--SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL "The easy-to-follow panels offer a great introduction for readers interested in trying their first graphic novel, and the warm, engaging art has the same vibrant energy of a beloved Saturday morning cartoon."--BOOKLIST "The character design is astounding."--KIRKUS "Burks' comic-strip-like panels utilize zesty colors, bold compositions, and varying perspectives to create plenty of visual interest."--THE BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS Praise for BIRD & SQUIRREL ON THE RUN "The brightly colored panels and cartoon artwork attract the eye and complement the engaging, fast-paced story."--SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL "The easy-to-follow panels offer a great introduction for readers interested in trying their first graphic novel, and the warm, engaging art has the same vibrant energy of a beloved Saturday morning cartoon."--BOOKLIST "The character design is astounding."--KIRKUS "Burks' comic-strip-like panels utilize zesty colors, bold compositions, and varying perspectives to create plenty of visual interest."--THE BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS Praise for BIRD & SQUIRREL ON THE RUN"The brightly colored panels and cartoon artwork attract the eye and complement the engaging, fast-paced story."--SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL"The easy-to-follow panels offer a great introduction for readers interested in trying their first graphic novel, and the warm, engaging art has the same vibrant energy of a beloved Saturday morning cartoon."--BOOKLIST"The character design is astounding."--KIRKUS"Burks' comic-strip-like panels utilize zesty colors, bold compositions, and varying perspectives to create plenty of visual interest."--THE BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS

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