Cover Image: X-Venture Xplorers #1

X-Venture Xplorers #1

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Member Reviews

'X-Venture Xplorers #1: The Kingdom of Animals - Lion Vs Tiger' by Meng and Slaium with art by Black Ink Team is a kind of educational graphic novel for young readers.

Set up as educational, it sort of falls down when the premise is to find two animals and figure out which one is more fierce.  So a team of young explorers is sent out to find a lion and a tiger.  There are stats on the animals, and some misdirection as the tiger team is sent to where the smaller species of tigers live.

My review copy is only about half of the graphic novel, so I didn't find out how the lion team did.  It's told in a pretty manga style, and the art feels a bit like that too.  I had recently read a more interesting animal education series, so this one is hard to recommend.

I received a review copy of this graphic novel from Papercutz and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.
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I like the premise of this. A blending of story and facts in a graphic format sounds like a great idea. I am more than a little concerned about the diversity issue. While it is great that they have people of color, those people all appear to be from other countries. While all of the white characters appear American, I feel like a more accurate blending would have been appropriate. Stereotypes abound in this book: chubby bully; strong-willed, reckless main boy; girl who must be in the middle of the pack and just wants everyone to be friends; geeky kid with glasses; two POC characters in tribal dress (one of whom they refer to as Tarzan). There is just something about this that seems quite insensitive. Particularly when you get to Kwame doing his "ritual"-wow. Just wow. 

This should have been better.

For libraries: Hard Pass!
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This is just awful! I wouldn’t let my child read it. It is full of blatant sexist racist stereotypes. It rang alarm bell right from the first pages. Each character is given an manga style brief description.  The single female character is a hardworking, vegetarian peacemaker. The male lead is brave and passionate but careless causing trouble for his friends. Then there is the ‘little native’ and the ‘bushman’ dressed like ‘natives‘. To top this off is the small shy geeky guy with the thick glasses and finally, the chubby guy described as loud and lazy who ‘constantly antagonises ‘ the lead male. Oh really surely you can do better than this?
I did read this short sample to the end hoping that my initial qualms were misplaced but no. Lots of loud laddish shouting, girls one step behind the cool dude. Yes, then came the sweaty fat guy jokes and the ‘natives‘ doing ceremonies and talking in gobbledegook language. Really in this day and age!
It got one star for some of the information pages about Tigers and Lions. These unfortunately were poorly illustrated.
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