Julia's House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke is the debut picture book from a graphic novel/comic artist. And the second debut picture book for this week, and....another winner! Julia's house rolls into to town and settles in. (Well, not really roll, but, well you'll see what I mean.) She puts out a sign to take in lost creatures and there you go, they start tromping their way to her house. There is quite a menagerie of living and nonliving beings that take refuge at Julia's house.
The art was rendered in pen and ink and watercolors. They are comic book like, clear, interesting, and full of action. This story keeps the plot going along and it makes you want to turn the page and find out what is going to happen next.
I truly love that this story is open to any kind of beastie out there. Julia doesn't seem to mind any of them. I like how she learns to change as she needs to adapt to things and in that way it's a very friendly, open tale. There's no scariness, or harshness, just learning, growing, and changing to fit the needs of the house and characters.
I'll use this title with older, 4 to 5 year-old preschoolers to Second or Third graders. I think it could be used for even older elementary students, in the right context. I simply love this book!