Reviews for The unsinkable Walker Bean

School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 4-7-Throughout his childhood, pudgy, bespectacled Walker Bean has listened to his grandfather's tales of adventure on the open seas. Now Walker finds himself smack-dab in the middle of his own thrilling escapade when his ailing grandfather asks him to return a human skull to a trench deep in the ocean floor. Once part of a skeleton of a witch's enemy, this skull has now been transformed into pearl. Armed with his grandfather's journal, an amazing message bottle, assistance from a few trusted friends, and his own clever and inventive mind, Walker braves pirates, evil witches, and his own fears in this tale of derring-do and skullduggery. Renier's tale is a youngster's dream: adventure with a capital A. The graphic art moves the story along with excellent page layout and a brilliant color palette that serve as fireworks, lighting up the pages with cannon muzzle blasts and ships ablaze. Clever writing, though sometimes a little convoluted for young readers, is filled with humor and puns. Readers should be prepared to suspend all logic and ties to reality. They will find a ship with a garden complete with large fruit trees and a gardener who practices composting onboard. The crew uses matches and employs phrases such as "Holy Guacamole." But for those who are ready to lay aside these concerns for a while and take off with Walker in an adventure of a lifetime, this is an exciting choice.-Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Anyone who has said that pirates are an overused motif in youth literature has not yet met Walker Bean. Legends of Atlantis, merwitches and pirates abound in this stunningly swashbuckling graphic novel. Young Walker Bean, overlooked by his father, adores his fanciful grandfather and the yarns he spins about his adventures on the high seas. On his deathbed, his grandfather asks him to return an enchanted skull to a remote island. A fantastic adventure ensues, replete with pirates, naval officers and horrifying lobster merwitches out to apprehend Walker and the skull. A lushly eye-catching palette strides in easy harmony with this whimsical--though substantial--narrative. Renier and colorist Alec Longstreth work within a contained 75-color palette, achieving their goal of a unified feel throughout. In lesser hands this could have easily been labeled another trite "chosen one" adventure tale, but the masterful writing and art flawlessly transcend any predictable genre constraints.An easy crowd pleaser, this book has something sure to enchant every reader. Three cheers for Walker Bean...long may he sail! (Graphic adventure. 10 up)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

This rip-roaring tale of swashbuckling adventure from the Eisner Award-winning Renier offers up a story line and art of equally intriguing depth. It is colonial times, and Walker Bean must help his grandfather, who's been cursed by a pair of witchy undersea lobster-women named Tartessa and Remora, by returning a magical skull to the mysterious Mango Islands. Stowing away on a ship, Walker teams up with a dog named Perrogi (obviously drawn with the affection of a dog lover), a boy named Shiv, and a tough-talking girl named Genoa. Renier's dynamic drawings are rich in detail; readers will get lost in the winding streets of colonial towns, island hideaways, natural history collections, exuberant panoramas of action. Renier lets his imagination lead the way, throwing maps and illustrated clues throughout this seafaring world, and setting up all manner of surprises and danger for Walker. A pleasure from beginning to end. Ages 9-14. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

*Starred Review* At first glance, this graphic novel looks like a mishmash of time-honored seafaring fantasy-adventure tropes: ancient curses with vague hints of Atlantis and a lost treasure; pirates more lovable than rascally pitted against greedy starched-shirt colonial naval types; and of course the outwardly meek but plucky-under-fire boy hero. But while Renier certainly hits all of those notes, he isn't content to simply let the story coast once under way which takes only a panel or two to get cracking. Instead, he keeps throwing newer and neater elements into the fray. The excitement centers around a cursed skull stolen from the lair of two deep-sea crustacean witches. Like all who look upon the skull, Walker's beloved Grandpa falls deathly ill when he finds it, and the boy sets out to return the skull from whence it came. In two of the more impressively clever feats, the inventive lad turns a pirate ship into a proto-all-terrain vehicle and uses an enormous blank canvas to recreate the night sky, subverting the navigational course of the ship. The generous page size lets reader dive into Renier's quavery and painstakingly detailed cartooning, and he really shows off his stuff with a bounty of full-splash dazzlers. Though a smidgen light on characterization, this comic really is just about everything you want from a rip-roaring adventure: exciting, deep, funny, and scary, with tremendous villains and valor galore.--Chipman, Ian Copyright 2010 Booklist