Return of the Dapper Men: A Steampunk Graphic Novel / by Leslie

Oh how I love this book. I found it while in the children's section of the library. The illustrations are what drew me in, but the story is like a dream and is incredibly inspiring. This is a book that I will have to buy for myself. It's a beautiful work of fantasy, with many allegories and metaphors, not only in the language, but also in the illustrations.

The illustrations are gorgeous and the artist, Janet Lee, details the process in the back of the book. It's incredible that each page of the book is drawn, colored with marker, cut, and glued to a painted board. The whole thing is lacquered and then scanned. It's a unique process for a graphic novel, very hand made and special, and you can tell.

The story by Jim McCann is engaging as well. Anorev is a world where there are no adults, only children and robots. The children live underground with the gears and the robots live above ground. Time has stopped and everything is stuck. When the Dapper men return to re-start time, a little boy named Ayden and a little robot girl named Zoe must work together and trust each other to begin the hard process of growing up and living life.

I can't wait to share it with Milo. At not quite five, he might be a little too young to grasp the story, but I think he might like the drawings and it's something that he can grow into. An older child, who loves fantasy and art would love this book. And it's a great way to talk about themes like growing up, our differences and taking risks.

From Archaia Entertainment, 2010, Available on