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Tuesday, August 22, 2023

REVIEW: Things in the Basement, by Ben Hatke

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  It was supposed to just be a normal basement—  some storage boxes, dust, you know, the usual basement stuff. But when Milo is sent by his mother to fetch a sock from the basement of the historic home they've moved into, Milo finds a door in the back that he's never seen before. Turns out that the basement of his house is enormous. In fact, there is a whole world down there. As Milo travels ever deeper into the Basement World, he meets the many Things that live in the shadows and gloom...and he learns that to face his fears he must approach even the strangest creatures with kindness.

This book answers a question that I've long had---where do lost socks go? (Spoiler alert, moms, they do NOT become tupperware lids). The story, in and of itself, is fabulous.

A nearly wordless graphic novel with illustrations so rich and intricate you could spend hours pouring over it. Okay, so my daughter did. It's perfectly atmospheric--I mean, look at the cover! Hatke has masterfully create the world and the mood along with it. 

Teachers, I can see this being part of all kinds of lessons:

  • In art class, telling your story through images, how colors lend to a mood you want your reader/viewer to feel.
  • In reading class, that all important skill of using the pictures provided for context and to improve literacy. 
  • In a writing class, how images drive the story, or even as a prompt--how would you tell the story in words?  

Overall, adored this. Hatke had me years ago awith Zita, and he's delivered yet another gorgeous book.

What do you think??

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this ebook galley from First Second Books through the netGalley publisher/reader connection program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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