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Game for Adventure : Belinda the Unbeatable - Lee Nordling

Game for Adventure

Belinda the Unbeatable

By: Lee Nordling, Scott Roberts (Illustrator)

Paperback | 1 October 2017

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Ready or not, here I come! These wordless graphic novels feature lovable characters and fun fantasy takes on classic children's games such as hide-and-seek. The books instil positive messages and engage readers with crisp, colourful artwork.

The upbeat Belinda and the shy Barbara join a magical round of musical chairs. When their school gym transforms into a rowdy, colourful obstacle course, the players have to navigate hills, sand traps and giant musical notes! Although Belinda and Barbara are very different players, their friendship will keep them in the game.

This bright, word-free graphic novel is the second in the Game for Adventure series, which features a diverse cast of characters who play classic games in fun, fantasy settings
  • Wordless graphic novels promote visual literacy
  • Perfect for young readers new to the graphic novel format
  • Game element encourages good citizenship through sportsmanship
Industry Reviews

A simple game of musical chairs is the setting for a wild adventure in this wordless graphic novel. Belinda and her classmates are off to the gym when she spots shy Barbara and befriends her. Together they join in the game, but when the music starts they're amazed to see the notes and the circle around the chairs come to life! Nordling and Roberts tap into the pure, childlike imagination that makes stories such as The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland such classics, and they do it all in a simple comic perfect for the youngest of readers and pre-readers. Little ones will savor every panel, especially as things turn weird, with gigantic musical notes raining down from the sky onto an undulating orange road dotted with chairs that have morphed into thrones. Vibrant purples, teals, and golds brighten this fantasy world, as well as the realistic but still cartoonish, world of Belinda's school, where she and her classmates represent a variety of skin tones and body shapes. Adults will appreciate the gentle message of good sportsmanship, while children will be caught up in the adventure of this wonderful addition to wordless comics for young readers.--starred, Booklist

-- "Journal"

Belinda knows how to win and does it often, but she also understands the value of a good friend. The confident, brown-skinned, cornrowed protagonist of this wordless graphic adventure leads the line to the school gym until she sees another, dejected-looking brown girl sitting on the hallway floor. Foreshadowing things to come, Belinda relinquishes her line-leader role to offer the surprised girl her hand and make her feel included in the game of musical chairs. While the teacher observes only a mundane game, readers and the players witness an extraordinary, larger-than-life competition in which huge, multicolored musical notes become flying obstacles that sometimes antagonistically interfere with the players as they rush for seats when the music stops. Allegiances form and dissolve, but Belinda remains true to her new friend, Barbara (whose name appears only in the rear endpapers), until the end of the game. The book's cartoonish cover suggests a lighthearted story, but the tale delivers rich conflict (including person-versus-self on several occasions), strong emotions, complex relationships, and ferocious competition. Roberts uses framing, varying perspectives, close-up images, and stark, contrasting facial expressions to help readers absorb both the action and the characters' emotions as the story unfolds. Refreshingly, colorist Silva renders the children of color with different skin tones. An excellent adventure for reluctant readers, fierce competitors, lovers of wordless tales--and readers who just love an action-packed, rollicking story.--starred, Kirkus Reviews

-- "Journal"

Nordling, Lee Belinda the Unbeatable
32 pp. Lerner/Graphic Universe 2017. LE ISBN 978-1-5124-1331-1 PE ISBN 978-1-5124-5413-0 Ebook ISBN 978-1-5124-4880-1
(3) 1-3 Illustrated by Scott Roberts. Game for Adventure series. Andrew sketches a purple blob; next thing we know the creature's outside his window and a (frustrating) game of hide-and-seek ensues (Seeker). During Belinda's game of musical chairs with classmates (including Andrew), each time the music starts the gymnasium morphs into a candy-colored playland of animate musical notes (Unbeatable). These companion wordless comics both convey volumes through facial expressions, perspective, and dynamic panel progression. Review covers these Game for Adventure titles: Andrew the Seeker and Belinda the Unbeatable.
Younger Fiction; Wordless books; Cartoons and comics; Graphic novels; Games; Schools; African Americans; Imagination; Friendship

-- "Journal"

This wordless graphic novel by an Eisner Award-nominated duo centers on an unusual competition. Belinda is a born leader who makes friends easily. Barbara is timid and shy. As best friends, they balance each other perfectly. Together they play a magical game of musical chairs. In the fantasy world, players must dodge oversize musical notes bouncing down the path and run up and down hills in the quest to sit upon numbered thrones that ensure players' safety and passage to the next round. The game is nearly ruined when two children exhibit poor sportsmanship, but Belinda and Barbara win in the end. Their kindness toward each other promotes a powerful message: friendship is more important than competition. The vibrant digital artwork, with its cartoonish style, is reminiscent of Sunday morning comics. VERDICT A great comic book for the early elementary crowd. Put this on the shelf beside the Toon books series.--School Library Journal

-- "Journal"

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