Holm, J., and Holm, M. (2007). Camp Babymouse. New York, NY: Random House.
Genre: This book meets the criteria of a graphic novel because of the story it tells being heavily supported by images, in this case, black and white drawing with pink accents.
Summary: Her first trip to summer camp does not turn out as she dreamed it would. In this 6th in a series of graphic novels, Babymouse seems to make a mess of everything. In fact, at one point she decides to give up, but the tables turn slightly and she gets back on her feet to help her team pull out a victory in an important competition. Even though her team is in last place overall, the one victory gives Babymouse confidence and respect from fellow campers.
Library uses: Sharing this book with second or third graders would be a good introduction to the graphic novel genre for emerging readers.
Impressions: While so many books for kids entertain by putting others down, this Babymouse book does not. Yes, her cabin mates suggest she change to another cabin at one point, but they don’t insult her or run her down. Yes, Babymouse gets demerits galore, but she keeps trying and eventually works things out. The plot is simple and more entertaining than didactic, although there is a lesson learned through the story.
I am not a big fan of graphic novels, but I can see how students who are beginning to read chapter books would feel a great sense of accomplishment on finishing this book. Having 96 pages makes it seem like a long book. The serial nature of Babymouse will help students find more books they like, if they like one of them. One of the biggest challenges for new book readers is finding something they like, so serials help give them direction at least for a while.
Professional Review: Kan, K. (2007, August). Camp Babymouse. Booklist. Retrieved from https://www.booklistonline.com/Camp-Babymouse-Jennifer-L-Holm/pid=1982757
Babymouse is convinced she’ll have a great time at summer camp, never mind that she doesn’t like the great outdoors. Despite her daydreams of derring-do, she succeeds only in getting into trouble, racking up an impressive number of demerits for her team, the Buttercups. What is she to do? This charming series entry, illustrated as in the familiar black, white, and pink, continues to put Babymouse into situations that most children will immediately recognize. The book’s small, square size will fit perfectly into young hands, and the story promises great fun for both new comics readers and avid ones.
The Night Before Summer Camp by Natasha Wing – This is another book on the same subject for the same audience. It is not a graphic novel, but a picture book and part of a “night before” series.
Dog Man by Dav Pilkey – From the author of Captain Underpants, since Dogman is not wearing underwear, this may be more acceptable graphic novel series to some than the actual Underpants series.
The Great Pet Escape by Victoria Jamieson – This is a graphic novel from the 2017 – 2018 Bluebonnet list which features animals on the loose in a school when the kids aren’t there, and is alaso appropriate for a 7-10 year old audience.