Book review: Sunny Side Up, by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

Holm, Jennifer L. and Matthew Holm. Sunny Side Up. Illus. Matthew Holm. Scholastic/Graphix, 2015. $23.99 224p. 9780545741651. Ages 8-11. P9Q9

Holm Sunny Side UpThe humorous duo authors of the Babymouse and Squish series have changed to a more serious memoir-like graphic novel set 40 years ago in Florida when 10-year-old Sunny is sent to visit Gramps. Her uncomfortable hide-a-bed creaks, dinners are early, and she’s surrounded by old people, but meeting Buzz opens a new world to Sunny when he introduces her to the comics of the time, including Spiderman and Swamp Thing. The story is bitter-sweet: Sunny was sent away from home because her parents are dealing with Sunny’s older brother’s drug addiction. The author/illustrator duo skip the didactic approach and add enough light touches to keep the book balanced. Reminiscent of Raina Telgemeier’s graphic autobiographical memoirs.

April 2016 review by Nel Ward.


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