I recently received an ARC of the graphic novel Lucy and Andy Neanderthal,
which is now available in print!
Let me preface this review by mentioning that this is only the second or third graphic novel I have ever read, and it is obviously aimed at a young audience. Per Goodreads, this novel is aimed for “Young Readers.” However, given these circumstances, I thought this graphic novel was fairly amusing, informative, and overall, would recommend.
Jeffrey Brown has obviously done his homework. The novel is divided into chapters, which start with a brief, comic vignette, followed by a scientific breakdown of the fact or fiction lying beneath that vignette, as relayed by two goofy scientists.
This book is not only young reader-friendly, it is also designed to spark a love for learning in the young mind. One of my favorite things about this graphic novel is that it ended by explaining that while neanderthals are cool, one of the coolest things about them is that what we know about them is constantly expanding, and as our knowledge grows, some of the current theories are refined and/or debunked. It was a great way to point out that life is about learning, a lesson that, hopefully, young readers will take to heart.
My only complaint, which may very well not be legitimate, since I am not a connoisseur of graphic novels, is that I am not certain this work is a graphic novel. While the vignettes do weave together in a way to tell a story, this work feels more like a collection of short comics, rather like an Archie digest, than a novel told through a medium of art and words.
I also have to say, this work is definitely written for a younger crowd, and I can only recommend to those who enjoy reading middle grade. Not that that caveat is saying anything negative, since the work was written explicitly for younger readers. Overall, though, it made me laugh a few times, the artwork is fun and well done, and you might learn a thing or two.