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August 14, 2007

LAIKA is School Library Journal REVIEW OF THE DAY

You know it's true, if you picked up a copy of your own -- but the mighty Elizabeth Bird says it best in a whopping review of Nick Abadzis' LAIKA (in stores this fall) at SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, posted online here...

Here's the first paragraph:

Dead dog books used to be a dime a dozen. Time was a kid couldn’t walk into a bookstore without getting whacked over the head with “Old Yeller”, creamed in the kisser by “Sounder”, and roughed up royally by “Where the Red Fern Grows”. Recently, however, dogs don’t die as often as all that. You could probably concoct some magnificent sociological explanation for this, citing changes in the political and emotional landscape of our great nation leading to the decrease in deceased literary pups, but as I see it, a good dead dog story is as hard to write as an original paper on Moby Dick. What else is there to say? Man’s best friend dies and everyone feels bad. In this jaded culture it would take a pretty steady hand to find a way to write a dead dog tale that touches us deeply. Not a dog person myself, I direct your attention today to Nick Abadzis. I don’t know how he did it. Laika, the world’s most famous real dead dog (a close second: the dead pooch of Pompeii), is now presented to us in a graphic novel format. Though I prefer cats through and through, “Laika” the novel grabs your heart from your chest and proceeds to dance a tarantella on the remains. The best graphic novels are those books whose stories couldn’t have been told any other way. “Laika” has that honor.


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