It's always a good idea when kids are practicing reading to find a book at their independent reading level, since generally giving them something with too much vocabulary can be frustrating and counterproductive. That said, A Trip to the Bottom of the World with Mouse was right up my kindergartener's alley. In fact, he read this book to me (with slight coaching). Pair that with the fact it's a new book by designer Frank Viva (Along a Long Road). What more could a parent ask for.Toon Books are billed as "a first comic for brand-new readers," introducing kids from 4 and up to the graphic novel format, where the text is supported by the pictures, engaging beginning readers with narratives that are not only conveyed with words, but gestures, and facial expressions.
Inspired by Viva's experiences aboard a Russian research vessel during a trip to the Antarctic Peninsula, the book follows a young explorer on a southern sea voyage accompanied by a mouse companion. Along the way they meet a variety of penguin species, an orca whale, and enjoy a swim in the waters of a thermal volcano, all the while putting up with Mouse's insistent queries of, "can we go home now?" That is, until it's time to leave and Mouse changes his unenthusiastic tune. "Can we go back there soon?" he asks.
Bold colors mixed with minimalist landscapes of glaciers, and ice bergs, against starry skylines, and shimmering expanses of sea make this book a pleasure to look at. And Mouse's worrisome antics keep things lively and fun.
• Find it: A Trip to the Bottom of the World with Mouse by Frank Viva (Toon Books, 2012)
(Image: Ben Partridge)
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.