Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Gabby and Gator by James Burks

GABBY AND GATOR by James Burks is a great new graphic novel. It is the story of Gabby, who doesn't quite fit in. She has lots of interests and talents but the other kids don't quite understand her. And it is the story of Gator, an alligator who also has no friends. Gator and Gabby meet and hit it off right away. They understand each other and they understand what it means to be friends.

The book is amusing. Gator is always hungry-trying to eat things like dogs and squirrels.   In the meantime, Gabby is being bullied. Luckily Gator saves her a few times.

The story is a fun one and has good messages about friendship, acceptance, bullying, etc.

The reason I most like this book is that it is a graphic novel that is appropriate for young readers.  I find that our youngest students love the idea of graphic novels, but so many are meant for older readers. I think the format of a graphic novel is perfect for young readers--so much of the meaning comes from the illustrations.  This particular graphic novel gives kids lots to think about but is written in a way that makes it very accessible to younger children.  And, because it is a graphic novel, the book will also appeal to older readers. It is a fun story and the illustrations will draw in readers of many ages.   The book is a bulky book--lots of pages and a larger than usual graphic novel size.  Many of the spreads have  very few, if any words while other spreads contain more dialogue.  

The characters are well developed and the story is a good one. I am thinking this might become a series. I can see Gabby and Gator going on other adventures.  I am hoping that we see more graphic novels like this in the future--graphic novels that are more appropriate for younger readers, but that will still appeal to older elementary kids too.


  1. I saw this one at the library yesterday and almost checked it out, but I already had an armload of books so I passed. Thanks to your review, next time I will definitely grab it.

  2. I never even thought about graphic novels for my first graders, although one has brought in some comic books for independent reading, which is fine by me. This really opens up a new world, especially as a way of making reading accessible to some beginners!

    I'd love to hear some ideas you might have about managing independent reading in the classroom at Educated Exchange:


  3. We just returned this book to the library--We enjoyed the characters and the story. As a person who advocates recycling, and is also vegetarian, I really enjoyed the girl's values, too!


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