i absolutely LOVED raina telgemeier‘s (2015) graphic novel adaptation of ann martin‘s the baby-sitters club: kristy’s great idea (scholastic)! it was such a great experience to return to the adventures of kristy, mary anne, claudia, and stacey that i loved as a kid. i was definitely not the most popular baby-sitter on the block (probably too worried about the kids i baby-sat for to have fun with them!) but i loved reading about these four baby-sitters.
a middle grades read, kirsty’s great idea challenged me to think about how to read cartoons. when i first starting reading the book, i found myself reading the dialogue balloons instead of examining how the pictures contributed to the book’s plot. I had to make myself read the pictures. i found this book a good exercise in visual literacy!
i also appreciated the depth of issues (e.g. divorce and diabetes) addressed in what seems to be a simple book about four baby-sitters. and i think the graphic nature of the book makes these issues accessible for readers. for example, readers see kristy’s frustrations about her mom’s boyfriend. characters’ emotional reactions are visible in graphic novels in a way that is different from descriptions of emotions in print-based texts.
kristy’s great idea is a great graphic novel to share with our students and children! let me know what you think about kristy’s great idea in the comments below!