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Today, I blog live from my couch, finally home from NCTE!
Title: Love The Lion
Author(s): Frederic Brremaud and Federico Bertolucci
Publisher: Magnetic Press/Lion Forge (2017 Second Printing)
Age Rating: 13+
Let’s cut to the chase here. Like I said yesterday, I’m going to be doing a Lion Forge Week very soon, but I wanted to chat about a second Lion Forge book in a row to end my NCTE weekend.
This coming week, I will try to review books with very few or no words. I feel that as educators, word-less graphic novels are hard to process. When we read only images, we need to discuss only images, and this can be a challenge. People/students generally need words to talk story and character; however, this week, I’m challenging myself and you to plunge into the world of fairly word-free graphic novels.
And today, I’ll both end NCTE weekend and kick off Word Free week with one of Lion Forge’s Love books: Love The Lion. There are four books in this series, all featuring the day in the life of a different animal, and Love The Lion is about a shelter dog. Just kidding. It’s about a lion. And there are no words in this book. There are no words in any of the four Love titles…
With no words, the art has to tell the story. With that said, we don’t need to assume that that art has to be brilliant. And while the art in this book is, you can easily bring home an amazing concept with stick figures and no words.
The animal study done to bring the animals on these pages to life had to be crazy! This book not only contains lions, but a great number of safari animals, and all of them are drawn to close perfection.
If you read a lot of comics and graphic novels, your initial question might be “How does this book compare to Pride of Baghdad?”
That’s a valid question. Pride of Baghdad is the quintessential graphic novel about lions. So my answer is “Wow, that’s a good question…”
The thing is, it’s hard to compare the two books. Pride has dialogue, and Love does not. That’s a BIG difference because while Love does a great job creating indirect characterization through the body language and facial expressions of the lions, dialogue creates characterization in a more effective manner, but Love does not need as much characterization to be effective. A day in the life of a wild animal is apples and oranges when comparing it to a pride of lions escaping a zoo with discussed plans, and past relationships with flashbacks. I would have to say that Love is a exploration of art and reality, while Pride is more of an exploration of heavy theme and character.
That’s not to say that these two books can’t work in tandem. I’d love to see what a class could come up with by comparing the lion characters in the two books. And I’d also like to see responses to questions about comparing and contrasting the art in the two books and how the art affects story.
I can’t wait to discuss Word Free books with you most, if not all, of this coming week!
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