Staff Picks 2012: Aleshia

Pippi Moves In
by Astrid Lindgren and Ingrid Vang Nyman

Pippi makes pancakes with a scrub brush, is “as rich as a troll” and can lift her pet horse above her head. This is the English translation of the original work published in the 1950s. The stories are hilarious, and the pictures are even funnier! 

This is Not My hat
by Jon Klassen

“This hat is not mine. I stole it.” That pretty much sums up the plot of this beautifully illustrated children’s book. I really can’t resist stories about animals acting like humans, especially when they are wearing bowler hats.

Ed the Happy Clown
by Chester Brown
If you are a fan of really really really strange things, this is probably the book for you. (Be warned: contains penis-worshipping cannibalistic pygmies). 

Fanny and Romeo
by Yves Pelletier; illustrated by Pascal Girard

I originally read this book in French (Valentin, published by La Pastèque) and loved it, so I was super excited when I saw Conudrum's English translation. Pascal Girard, one of my fave bédéists, illustrates this story of love, allergies and cats. 

Smitten Kitchen
by Deb Pelerman

Apple cider caramels, butternut squash galette, eggplant and three cheese calzone... This is well-known blogger Deb Pelerman’s first book and, just like on her blog, the list of recipes inspires profuse salivation and the overwhelming desire to put on an apron. While the cookbook has a lot of ideas for sweets, it also offers an abundance of savory recipes for vegetarian and carnivore alike. Best of all, it has lots of photos!

Lose #4
by Michael DeForge

Michael DeForge uses his unique sense of humour and amazing drawing abilities to create some strange but awesome stories.

The Infinite Wait and Other Stories
by Julia Wertz

The Infinite Wait is a book of autobiographical stories. Wertz describes her not-so-awesome experiences in the service industry, her alcoholism, and how she began her love affair with comics. The stories can be a bit heavy at times, but the sarcastic narration all the way through helps to lighten the mood.

Maya Makes a Mess
by Rutu Modan

I first came across Rutu Modan’s work in Jetlag, a collection of translated short stories written by Israeli writer Etgar Keret and illustrated by different artists. I absolutely love her drawings! Modan’s D&Q publications include her first graphic novel, Exit Wounds, and her book Jimilti and Other Stories. Maya Makes a Mess is a comic for young readers about a little girl who doesn’t have any table manners.  Maya ends up visiting the Queen and teaches her and unexpected lesson about how fun it can be to make a mess.

Glorieux Printemps
by Sophie Bédard

This French-language publication (Pow Pow) started out as a web comic. Sophie Bédard does a great job of illustrating life as a teenager (thank god I am not in high school anymore). The stories are cute and really funny. You can check out the comic on Sophie Bédard’s wordpress site.

Jane, le renard et moi
Isabelle Arsenault; Fanny Britt

This French-language children’s comic was written by Fanny Britt (you might know her from her work as a playwright) and illustrated Isabelle Arsenault (also the illustrator of the beautiful book Virginia Wolf). This is the story of a young girl named Hélène, who is bullied by her classmates at school and feels alone in the world. She finds solace in some unlikely places, and by the end of the book things are looking up. I would definitely not call this book uplifting, but it is a beautiful story with beautiful illustrations and really emphasizes the difficulties of growing up—something we can all relate to.

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