In his groundbreaking anthology EXPLORER: The Mystery Boxes (Amulet Books; April 2012), Kibuishi challenged himself and seven highly sought-after graphic novelists and illustrators to create a story based around a single object: A mysterious box…and the possible marvels and mayhem it contains.
Both my daughter, who is 15, and myself thought it was interesting to have different stories all with the same theme. It was also neat to see the diversity in the different drawing and art styles of the contributors.
My favorite story was ‘Whatzit’ by Johane Matte – a very cute story about a young warehouse worker who finds himself in a mess when checking the shipment list for a replica of the solar system. The story itself is fun, and the graphics reminded me a lot of those you see produced by major studios for television.
Most of the other stories in the book are a bit more profound. The book itself is labeled for ages 9+, but honestly I think the content is beyond that age group, and I feel it would be better suited for teens. It’s just an eclectic mix of stories that wouldn’t appeal (in my opinion) to an average elementary school student.
EXPLORER: The Mystery Boxes in hardcover is available for purchase at book sellers and online retailers for an msrp of $19.95.
Disclosure: I received no monetary compensation for this post; Abrams Books sent me a sample. Opinions are my own.
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