07 December 2007

The O'Connor Oeuvre

This week the Boston 1775 blog featured a two-part review of Journey into Mohawk Country, a nonfiction graphic novel by George O'Connor.

This is the same George O'Connor who worked at Books of Wonder in New York and illustrated several Oz-related books from that store's press, including David Hulan's Glass Cat of Oz [features inside jokes about Bruce Coville!] and L. Frank Baum's American Fairy Tales and The Enchanted Island of Yew. I have to admit I wasn't won over by those early illustrations, especially O'Connor's cover art for Yew; the book's hero, Baum reminds us over and over, is a slight youth, not an armored he-man.

But I really liked O'Connor's Journey into Mohawk Country; his art and artistic imagination brings life and humor to an unpromising historical document, prodding readers to think about how to interpret such sources. O'Connor also created Kapow! and Ker-splash!, picture books about preschool superheroes. See, it all ties in together.

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