Explorer: The Mystery Boxes

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Explorer: The Mystery Boxes
Author(s)
Age Range
8+
Release Date
March 01, 2012
ISBN
978-1419700095
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Seven clever stories answer one simple question: what’s in the box?

Funny, fantastic, spooky, and suspenseful, each of these unique and beautifully illustrated short graphic works revolves around a central theme: a mysterious box and the marvels—or mayhem—inside. Artists include middle school favorites Kazu Kibuishi, Raina Telgemeier (Smile), and Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy), as well as Jason Caffoe, Stuart Livingston, Johane Matte, Rad Sechrist (all contributors to the groundbreaking comics anthology series Flight), and upcoming artist Emily Carroll.

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Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

A Creative Graphic Novel Anthology

Master of graphic novel anthologies, Kazu Kibuishi is back with "Explorer: The Mystery Boxes" which features seven stories about a mystery box. By inviting artists who are comfortable with writing short stories in graphic novel form, then providing them with a provocative theme, Kibuishi has guaranteed the reader an entertaining book.

It's interesting to see what the artists can do with such a broad theme. Emily Carroll's "Under the Floorboards" is reminiscent of Anya's Ghost and Jason Caffoe's "The Keeper's Treasure" has beautiful illustrations and a great message. My favorite story might have been Rad Sechrist's "The Butter Thief", where a Japanese grandmother uses a box to protect the family's butter from spirits who want to steal it. Charmed by its unusual plot and cinematic artwork, Sechrist is an artist I will be watching. Kibuishi himself contributed the final story, "The Escape Option". Fans of the Amulet series will be eager to see more of his unique imagination and gorgeous art.

Explorer: The Mystery Boxes is fairly slim at 128 pages, and most stories could have benefited from a few extra pages. I will be adding it to my classroom library, where it will probably never see any "shelf time". If you enjoy the Flight anthologies, you will love this book.

Good Points
Kibuishi's anthologies are always fantastic.
There's something for everyone in these stories.
The artwork is varied and impressive.
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Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

Explorer (A Rm with Books review)

I loved experiencing all the different authors takes on what would be in the box and all the different illustrating styles. Some of the stories were really fun and made me want to check out the authors immediately while others were a little too ambitious for their short length. Overall, it was an enjoyable, quick read.

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