I love finding new graphic novels, especially for younger readers, and this one is a lovely introduction to the genre for readers aged five and up.
Welcome to Bugbopolis, a colourful and vibrant city where you’ll never have trouble buying a hat, may witness the occasional candy floss factory explosion and if you were to visit 18 Hijinks Row you’d find the home of two best friends, Bumble and Snug.
A day out and a picnic out for best friends Bumble and Snug sounds perfect. That is until they accidentally find themselves on a deserted island and discover buried treasure. Digging up the treasure has consequences though as it is hidden for a reason and if the pirates don’t get it back there will be a monstrously big tentacled problem to deal with…
Little monsters, one awesome adventure and some very BIG feelings! Bumble and Snug is such a fun and cute graphic novel that is bursting with adorable characters and an energetic storyline all told through colourful comic panels. I guarantee that it will bring much enjoyment and plenty of giggles to young readers as they journey along with Bumble and Snug who bounce, float and slide around Bugbopolis thanks to the abilities of shape-shifting Bumble. Together, they get themselves into all sorts of delightful trouble and it is a great deal of fun watching them try and work their way out of it.
The two friends could not be more different and are the perfect example of opposites attracting. Bumble is loud, energetic and bursting with excitement whilst Snug is kind, caring, sensible and loves the library. Ideas fizz and pop around Bumble’s head and it is down to Snug to keep Bumble’s enthusiasm in check and ensure that they don’t get into too much trouble or mischief. Their contrasting personalities make for plenty of banter and laugh-out-loud moments.
Friendship, togetherness and teamwork are at the heart of Bumble and Snug’s adventures and there are lovely messages on taking responsibility for your actions, telling the truth, doing your best to put things right, listening and apologising. With many relatable emotions, it is a great book for exploring feelings and how we react in different situations. Bumble is enthusiastic about everything…badgers, cows, trains, ice creams, hats, a lucky feather; Snug is often worried and anxious; both experience anger and upset over the situations they find themselves in and are nervous about meeting new people.
Graphic novels are somewhat of a niche, particularly within the primary school setting, but their importance and power should not be underestimated. It takes skill to be able to successfully decode the visuals and to accurately follow the story which is why accessible books such as this one are great. Bradley supports readers on their reading journey with clear and uncluttered spreads, great visuals - the expressions on the characters faces are hilarious, time connectives, captions and dotted lines to indicate movement. All of theses touches enhance the reading experience as do the extras that include a fun map that identifies points of interest, some tips on understanding anger, how to draw the main characters and how to create your own comic characters.
An absolute treat of a read that will make children smile and laugh and has valuable lessons on friendship and managing emotions. Highly recommended and I cannot wait for the next adventure.
Recommended for 5+.