“This One Summer” by Jillian Tamaki & Mariko Tamaki review – Top 10 Essential Graphic Novels 06 – #5

[Book cover of graphic novel “This One Summer” by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki (2014) – Number 5 in Top 10 comics countdown list]So, number 5 on my comics countdown isThis One Summerby Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki. Now, this is a book that I’ve only just read within the last 6 months, but it really blew my socks off when I read it. It’s about a girl named Rose who goes on a summer holiday with her parents. And it’s about all the little things that happen when you’re a kid on summer holiday. So the whole story is told through the lens of Rose’s summer friendship with another girl from the village named Windy. And as the book goes on, it becomes apparent that Rose’s parents are actually going through some sort of relationship issues, and there’s tension within their marriage. But since the story is mostly seen through the eyes of children, that’s a factor that’s largely pushed into the background, because a kid’s mind isn’t quite able to comprehend the kinds of things that adults have to care about. Kids would rather do things like go swimming, or spy on the other kids in the caravan park. I mean, Rose is generally aware of what’s going on with her parents, but she doesn’t yet have the maturity to contribute to the situation in any meaningful way. Now, the attention-to-detail in Jillian Tamaki’s artwork is fantastic. In fact, you can tell that both creators spent a lot of time on location planning this book, because when you read it, you really feel like you are a kid on a summer holiday. The book engages all of your senses, and draws upon your own memories of holidaying by the beach. You can imagine sneaking around the backyards of the caravan park, hoping that a grown-up isn’t going to catch you in the act. So, if you want your senses engaged with a child’s perspective of a family holiday, pick upThis One Summerby Canadian cousins Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki. This graphic novel is an absolute pleasure to read for all 300 pages, and it would be such a great book to give to someone who is yet to “see the light” as to the power of comics for telling compelling stories.[title music: “Dart” by Screamfeeder]

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