History Comics: The National Parks: Preserving America’s Wild Places
There is a ton of material packed into the 128 pages of History Comics: The National Parks: Preserving America’s Wild Places, with new information on almost every page. A Sasquatch introduces us to how national parks can include scenic vistas, natural wildernesses, and historic sites, answering an eagle’s questions about who creates parks and why there are so many different kinds.
Along this journey, the reader visits the first parks, Yosemite and Yellowstone, and meets a wide variety of historical figures, from decision makers and politicians to artists and businessmen.
The overarching question is how to balance visitor enjoyment with protection. Many of the stories show how much was risked and destroyed before this system became established. Attitudes had to change, and it took a variety of discussions and advertisements, of a kind, to make that happen, as well as arguments pitting preservation against conservation.
Stories are told of Mesa Verde, the Everglades, and how indigenous peoples were treated. There’s continuing conflict between visitors, particularly once cars became a necessity, and protecting the ecosystems.
Falynn Koch’s cartooning is gorgeous. I expected no less, given how much I enjoyed her Science Comics: Bats and Maker Comics: Bake Like a Pro! She knows well how to create entertaining, readable educational comics. Here, we get a good idea of how beautiful these locations can be, as well as plenty of humor in the caricatured schemes of various people. Plus, there’s our friendly guide, the large furry mythical creature, and a surprising variety of livestock.
There’s so much information moved through quickly here that the short list of books for “Further Research” is much appreciated. History Comics: The National Parks can be read multiple times, with new facts standing out to the reader each time through.
(The publisher provided an advance digital review copy. Review originally posted at Good Comics for Kids.)