Monday, June 6, 2016


The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil
I have begun collecting graphic novels for my students. They are excellent when it comes to getting reluctant readers interested in picking up a book. I'm finding the storylines are much more sophisticated than I anticipated. I'm surprised that students who read them and then conference with me seem to be really getting to the meat of the stories.

THE GIGANTIC BEARD THAT WAS EVIL by Stephen Collins presents the message that being different is okay. Dave lives in Here where everything is neat and tidy. Rules are followed and everything runs smoothly. That is until the day Here changes for Dave.

Dave has always been clean shaven except for one whisker. No matter how he tries he can't get rid of the stubborn hair. Shaving, cutting, waxing, plucking - the crazy thing always returns.

One day Dave observes strange results on his graphs and charts at work. He shows them to his boss, but no one seems to be able to explain the odd images. That's when Dave himself begins to feel strange. Not sick, but just not himself.

When he wakes the next morning, the unthinkable has happened. The one hair has been begun growing and what follows is the growth of an uncontrollable beard. Dave's beard becomes a menace to everyone in Here. It blocks the streets and clogs the byways. The government sends in barbers and beauty operators to attempt to control the beard, but everything fails. It is finally decided that Dave's beard (and Dave) must go.

What the people soon discover is that the beard event caused lasting changes in Here. Everyone is not the same. The tidiness and sameness are gone. But maybe that isn't a bad thing after all.

THE GIGANTIC BEARD THAT WAS EVIL is fascinating. Black and white pencil-type sketches bring the story to life. The only drawback I see is that the text is frequently small and difficult to read.

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