I haven’t ever picked up any graphic novels for our kids and I can’t say that I’m terribly inclined to engage them much in general. Awesome Dawson, by Chris Gall is like a beginners graphic novel. It’s a picture book that is laid out in a comic format. I find reading this type of layout very distracting. There isn’t a natural flow to the sentences and everything about it just feels choppy and disorganized to me.
That said, my boys absolutely love this book.
Awesome Dawson is awesome because he can build anything out of anything. He collects things that people have tossed aside and builds amazing new creations with them. In this story, he decides to built a robot that will help him to do his chores but his plans go awry when his creation develops a mind of its own and gets a little out of control. Dawson saves the day, of course, and still maintains the desire to create and design at whim and fancy.
It’s really a clever idea for the story. Although the obvious theme of the book is recycling, it does not come across as preachy in the least. My boys didn’t pick up on that at all, actually. They are mostly mesmorized by Awesome Dawson’s creative flair. It’s a fun adventure story and I like just fine like that. (Not that I’m opposed to recycling, mind you. We do it. But I bore of constant arguments and focus on the subject.) Want to encourage people to recycle? Make the concept fun. Chris Gall has done exactly that with this book.
I’ll not stand in the way of my boys’ enjoying with this book. I imagine it’ll be quite used looking in short order. But we’ll hang on to it, most likely!
Thanks goes to LB Kids for shooting a copy of this book my direction in exchange for my honest thoughts.
Carrie blogs about books every weekday over at Reading to Know.com.