Author: Fanny Britt Translated by Isabelle Arsenault
Genre: Graphic Novel/ Children's
Publication Date: 2012
Page Count: 101
Helene is a young girl, whom has just entered middle school and is criticized by the other girls for her weight. She finds solace by reading Jane Eyre, until she meets someone that makes her problems a little more bearable.
The art in this book is beyond gorgeous! Most of the art is black and white pencil drawings, and color is used sparingly and effectively. I loved the concept of this story, and thought it was very relatable I loved the idea of Helene turning to a novel to escape the hardships of everyday life, and I liked that she admired Jane, as she is a great literary role model.
One quote from this novel really stuck out to me. Helene is discussing the part in Jane Eyre where Jane is painting herself and Miss Ingram and comparing Miss Ingram's beauty to her own plainness. Helene says that when painting herself Jane, "Showed no mercy." In this moment I really understood why Helene connected to Jane. Helene showed herself no mercy, and a lot of other people are the same way when they examine themselves. This, to me, was the biggest message from the book; show yourself love and mercy, because you deserve it. I think this book would be a great read for young girls, but could just as easily be enjoyed by older audiences as well.
Author: Barbara Stok
Genre: Graphic Novel/ Biography
Publication Date: 2015
Page Count: 141
This is graphic novel biography of Vincet Van Gogh's time in Areles, where he went to paint and develop his dream of setting up a house for artists to live and work in together.
The art style of this book is really cute. The settings in the backgrounds of the panels are pulled right from some of Van Gogh's paintings, and his artwork is incorporated into the novel.
This graphic novel does an excellent job of portraying Van Gogh's desperation and mania like passion, as well as his struggles with epilepsy. Van Gogh's dream to stay true to himself and support other artists is admirable. The novel also contains some beautiful excerpts from letters that Vincent had sent his brother Theo over the years.
My favorite thing about this novel was the focus on the connection between Theo and Vincent. Theo had a huge love for his brother, and supported him and his art with both money and love. At one point Theo said he was worried about his brother because of the colors he was using in his latest paintings. What a beautiful connection the two must have had if Theo could read Vincent's state of mind just by the color pallet of his paintings. I really recommend checking this one out if you are interested in art, biographies, Van Gogh, or all three.
I would love to purchase both of these novels in the future.