Alphabetical Index of First Second

Science Comics: The Brain: The Ultimate Thinking Machine

The Science Comics line is a wonderful marker for quality educational comics, and who better to teach about The Brain than a mad scientist? Science Comics: The Brain: The Ultimate Thinking Machine is written by Tory Woollcott and illustrated by Alex Graudins. Fahama is helping her crazily determined younger sister sell cookies door-to-door when she stumbles into the lair of Dr. Cerebrum, an ambulatory brain in a jar. To keep him from removing her head, she asks him questions, learning […]

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Science Comics: Cars: Engines That Move You

Science Comics: Cars: Engines That Move You is an excellent companion to First Second’s Maker Comics: Fix a Car! While that book concentrates on taking care of a vehicle, this graphic novel by Dan Zettwoch focuses on understanding how they work and came to be with incredibly comprehensive, well-cartooned content. The book covers, among other topics, some history of vehicle travel the physics of combustion and how engines work the history of the wheel and the steam engine the development […]

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Science Comics: Rockets: Defying Gravity

The Science Comics series is generally outstanding, but Rockets: Defying Gravity by Anne Drozd and Jerzy Drozd is one of the best. An exciting subject is made understandable though our charming hosts, a series of educated animals with connections to space exploration. The first chapter (as you can see in these preview pages) covers physics, or as it’s put, “What Makes Rockets Go?” Lewis the pigeon tells us of early experiments in hilarious fashion, calling a wooden, steam-powered bird his […]

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Maker Comics: Bake Like a Pro! and Fix a Car!

I adore First Second’s Science Comics line. Most all of them are terrific true-life graphic novels about interesting topics. Not only are they educational, they’re entertaining, and well worth reading. Now the publisher has expanded their non-fiction line with the new Maker Comics, which are similar, but focused on craft and skills instead of intellectual knowledge. The first two books are very different in topics, but both are equally informative and practical, covering things most people would benefit from learning. […]

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One Day a Dot: The Story of You, the Universe, and Everything

Almost no subject is too much for a children’s storybook, with the right approach, and One Day a Dot: The Story of You, the Universe, and Everything is proof. It tackles the formation of the universe in simple, understandable terms, with lovely images following from the Big Bang through the evolution of humanity and civilization. It’s written by Ian Lendler and illustrated by Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb. A dot bursts into light and life. It’s given feelings by the […]

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Check, Please!: #Hockey

Ngozi Ukazu’s immensely popular webcomic Check, Please! is here collected in the first of two volumes. Check, Please!: #Hockey covers the freshman and sophomore years of “Bitty”, a former figure-skating champion who’s playing hockey in college. He’s not your typical athlete, since he’s also an excellent baker and coming to terms with his authentic self. He’s also deathly afraid of being checked on the ice. This comic, like its lead, is adorable. It’s told as if we’re watching Bitty’s video […]

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The Prince and the Dressmaker

If you’ve heard of it, you’ve likely heard The Prince and the Dressmaker compared to a fairy tale. There are a bunch of reasons for that — the royal premise, the Cinderella-like experiences of the lead — but mostly, I find it accurate because of the unexpected happy ending. There’s nothing wrong with that! I don’t believe Jen Wang (In Real Life) intended to create a realistic portrayal, but a lovely fable of what things could look like if everyone’s […]

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Science Comics: Solar System: Our Place in Space

A rare misfire for the Science Comics series, Science Comics: Solar System: Our Place in Space goes past educational to sound patronizing. For a book aimed at ages 9-13, the tone is too “kiddy”, and the lessons are presented too blatantly. As written by Rosemary Mosco and illustrated by Jon Chad (who previously authored Science Comics: Volcanoes), it just doesn’t live up to the high standards set by the other books in the line, which are both informative and entertaining. […]

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