The holiday season makes me feel, think, and read as a kid again. And when I was a kid, all my favorite books had one thing in common: They filled me with wonder and made me want to explore. It turns out that’s still true. Even today, when I’m looking through new Blurb books, the ones I’m drawn to most are the ones that give me entry to a world of imagination. So that’s what brings together this month’s diverse range of books.
I’ve got a soft spot for children’s books, comics, mysteries, Polaroids, and rabbits. So imagine my delight when I came across a story that combines them all. This comic caper by British illustrator Joel Cooper, is just so fun to go through that it doesn’t matter that it’s for kids. Cooper brings a Richard Scarry-esque style to a world where animals live in an old pickle building. Ella Bella solves a neighborhood crime along with her non-speaking canine companion who’s the only one who seems to really know what’s going on.
This more adult (or at least PG-13) graphic novel takes us to an alternate version of the Spanish inquisition wherein a ninja-like witch hunter named Two finds herself drawn into an intrigue which has her fighting for her life. Along the way she meets mermen, spear wielding frogs, a mysterious cat-headed being, and an assortment of humans both helpful and dangerous (but mostly the latter). It’s a bit bloody, but the beautifully realized world by Silver Saaremaeel and Kaija Rudkiewicz is as compelling as anything I’ve bought in a comic book store recently.
I’m a sucker for sci-fi and imagined worlds and Matt Tkocz’s Rotation 81 is an out-of-this-world escape. There’s no story here, in fact it’s Tkocz’s pitch book he uses to get work as a film production artist. But that didn’t stop him from creating a book that feels like a guide to a completely realized world. Just dive in at any point (which I do all the time) and you’ll find futuristic police tanks, space landers, mechs, squalid sci-fi interiors, and a whole lot more in a kind of scrapbook format. Any one of these illustrations is a takeoff point for a new adventure.
Which books make you want to crawl inside them and explore? As always, let us know below.