It’s time to gab about graphic novels again and today’s selection is a collection of comic strips for the middle grade set. We received Suit Your Selfie: A Pearls Before Swine Collection by Stephan Pastis from the publisher via Netgalley. Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:
Gather ‘round the smartphone, kids! Stephan and the Pearls gang are back with a whole album’s-worth of jokes, jabs, and cringe-worthy puns.
Even Rat cracks a smile in this fifth Pearls Before Swine collection tailored for middle-grade readers. Witty, wacky, and occasionally wise, Suit Your Selfie is more kid-friendly fun from the New York Times best-selling author of Timmy Failure.
Target Age Range:
Humour, comic strips
About twenty minutes in one sitting
Let’s get gabbing:
I hadn’t come across this series before so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I certainly didn’t expect the sophisticated level of humour in the comic strips, given that the blurb says that this is aimed at middle grade readers. Perhaps they mean upper-middle grade….right at the upper end…because a lot of the content seemed a bit too grown up to appeal to middle graders. I don’t mean that it was inappropriate for kids, but that some of the topics – like getting the address for an aunt’s funeral, the creator of the comic having a mid-life crisis and a goldfish worried about its own mortality – just seemed aimed at an older audience. I found myself having a hearty chuckle at some of the strips because they were absolutely relatable to the struggle of adulting. The struggle is real! Some of the vocabulary seemed too advanced to be credibly aimed at a young audience also. This certainly didn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the book. In fact, I found most of the comics to be hilarious or at least chuckleworthy – I’m just mildly baffled as to why it has been labelled as “middle-grade”.
I thoroughly enjoyed this little collection as an adult reader, so don’t be put off by the middle grade tag. There’s plenty here for those who like their jokes one comic strip at a time…in fact, it’s exactly the kind of thing we old-timers who read newspapers would happily flick straight to the back page to read over morning coffee.
Until next time,