Posted in Awesome Kids, Book Review, Graphic Novels, Reviews by Alexander

Wings of Fire: The Graphic Novel

I read this but because I haven’t read the Wings of Fire book series, i didn’t really get it. My cousin, Alexander, is a huge Wings of Fire fan so I asked him to read this. My aunt said he was super excited to do it. The illustrator is Mike Holmes and I do love his work!

image from http://wingsoffire.wikia.com/wiki/The_Dragonet_Prophecy_(Graphic_Novel)

Wings of Fire: The Graphic Novel Book One: The Dragonet Prophecy is about 5 dragonets and a prophecy.  The prophecy tells how to end the war that has lasted for twenty years.  The dragonets must choose one of three sandwing queens to rule the sandwing tribe. This book follows the five dragonets as they escape and attempt to find their homes and meet all the queens so they can know all their personalities in person and not just from stories and scrolls, because you never know when to trust a scroll.

In the novel Wings of Fire: The Dragonet Prophecy it says in the prologue what happens to the skywing egg and in the Wings of Fire graphic novel it shows them hatching.  Both tell you different parts of the story, so you should read them both.  Other than the prologue, the stories are the same.  The characters in the graphic novel don’t look like the characters on the cover of the original book.  The graphic novel has a nice story line.  The illustrations are very detailed and look even cooler than they did in my imagination for some of the dragons.

I think people who like dragons, fantasy and prophecies and escaping would like this book.  People who trust scroll could learn from this book series.

The prophecy….. “When the war has lasted 20 years… the dragonets will come.  When the land is soaked in blood and tears… the dragonets will come.  Find the seawing egg of deepest blue, wings of night shall come to you. The  largest egg in mountain high will give to you the wings of sky. For the wings of earth, search through the mud for an egg the color of dragon blood.  And hidden alone from the rival queens, the sandwing eggs awaits unseen.  Of three queens who blister and blaze and burn, two shall die and one shall learn if she bows to a fate that is stronger and higher, she’ll have the power of wings of fire.  Five eggs to hatch on brightest night, five dragons born to end the fight. Darkness will rise to bring the light.  The dragonets are coming…”

Posted in Illustrators, Meet the authors

Meet the illustrator: Mike Holmes

Author website/social media:

mikeholmesdraws.com

When you were my age, did you like to read? Yes, very much! In fact, sometimes it seemed like that’s all I did. I learned how to read at a very young age, because I saw my older siblings reading and I wanted to do it too! So by the time I was 3 I was reading, and when I first went to school I would just sit and read every book in the classroom. Going to the library was one of my favorite things in the world.

What was your favorite story? I have so many, but I think my absolute favorite book was Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl. I loved how weird and imaginative it was – the author came up with some unbelievable things!

How do you get your ideas? I like this question, because it really makes me think about how my ideas come to me. Sometimes it’s hard to know where ideas come from; one day you’re sitting around and suddenly POOF, a brand new idea pops into your head from out of nowhere! And you’re so excited that you don’t even think to ask how it got there. But if I had to guess, I’d say a lot of my ideas come from things I’ve seen and done in my life, places I’ve been, people I’ve met. I have all those experiences swirling around in my head, and sometimes when I need an idea I think, ‘Hey! Why don’t I use that funny thing that happened to me?’ It’s incredibly helpful to have experiences!

Is it hard to illustrate a book? I don’t know if I’d call it hard, because I’ve been drawing and making comics for so long that I know a lot about them, and it makes it much easier to make something when you’ve been working at it for a while. But, I will say that making comics is still a lot of work, and I still have a lot to learn!

Do you have a favorite among the books you have illustrated? There was a book I drew that came out earlier this year called Animal Crackers: Circus Mayhem that was one of the most fun times I’ve ever had drawing. It’s about a kid who finds a box of animal crackers that are magic, and when you eat one you turn into that animal! So the book is filled with wild goofy action and it was really fun to draw all the comedy and magic.

What author do you like right now? I really like Drew Weing, who has a book called Margo Maloo

What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author? If you have a story that you want to tell, and you just have to tell someone…always write it down first! If you tell the story to someone before you write it down, it’s very easy to feel satisfied with that and then you don’t end up writing the story after all – which is the entire job of an author! I know so many people (even professional writers!) who say “I’ve got a great story to tell!”, and they get very excited, but they end up telling the story to people before they’ve written it down, and then they don’t feel like writing it anymore! So if you’ve got a really good story, try to make sure that when you’re finally ready to show it to an audience, even if it’s just one person, that you’ve written it out as a complete story first.

Do you get mistaken for the other Mike Holmes? Haha, I used to years ago!  Not because we look alike, but we’re both Canadian and it was confusing for some people when my name would be on a book or in the paper. It doesn’t really happen that much anymore, and I have to admit I’m relieved!

Posted in Book Review

Secret Coders: Robots and Repeats

By Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes

This is the greatest book ever. This book is not out till October so I got an advanced copy (perk of being a book reviewer).

In this book you learn one of the characters is an alien and doesn't have a nose! Plus their head is square.

They are learning how to use the most powerful turtle in the world. It is a robot. Everything it draws is …… oops, can't tell you.

I am a big fan of this series. It is encourages kids to solve problems.

Note: Book Aunt met Gene recently! Between Thien and Book Aunt, I am hoping to have Gene on my blog soon!

Posted in Book Review, Graphic Novels

Secret Coders: Secrets & Sequences

By Gene Luen Yang & Mike Holmes

This is book two of the series I shared yesterday. In this book, our heroes are trying to find Hopper’s dad.  To do this they have to code a robot to find a bad guy because he said he would take them away if they didn’t. There is even a green robot cat coded by the bad guy. All the robots of the bad guy are green because they drank something that makes them only want to see green.

I like that this a story that continues. You get to learn more about the characters, especially the bad guy. First they learn about him, this book they learn what he does and next book about what he wants.. (spoiler come back later this week for that review).

The same people who read book one of this series will want to read this. 

Psst.. there are even secret messages in this book

Posted in Book Review, Graphic Novels

Secret coders


By Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes

This is the first book in a series about some kids who take up coding. This is when they start coding and they find the janitor is a coder too. With him they coding adventures. They find a turtle robot and they code him to do stuff.

I liked that this book is about coding. I like coding and it was cool to read a book about kid coders. Graphic novels are good way to share with kids about coding.

People who like coding and people interested in coding would like this. I am giving this to the robotics teacher at my school.