Review: Explorer: the Lost Islands

explorer lost islands

Explorer: The Lost Islands edited by Kazu Kibuishi

This second book in the Explorer series again takes a single theme and has short illustrated stories that center on that.  The book is a collection of different illustrators and authors, so one story to the next is very different both in the story itself and in the style of the art.  It makes for a very compelling book to read.  I had several favorite stories in the book, including The Mask Dance by Chrystin Garland where the setting is dark and looming and people are disguised by masks.  The reveal of the truth is great fun while still being dark and eerie.  Another favorite was Desert Island Playlist by Dave Roman and Raina Telgemeier.  Readers of Smile and Drama will enjoy seeing another piece of work by Telgemeier.  This story too has a mystery at its heart all set on a desert island.  This is another strong graphic novel that young readers are sure to enjoy.

This second book loses some of the darkness and wonder of the first which was a masterpiece.  At the same time, it is a book worth getting because it displays such a wide range of art styles and story types.  Both books in the series are like unwrapping presents when you turn to a new story, you are sure to be surprised.

Amulet fans, graphic novel readers and students interested in art should all find something to love in this new collection.  Appropriate for ages 10-13.

Reviewed from copy received from Abrams.