The Phoenix Presents...
TAMSIN AND THE DEEP
Neill Cameron (author) and Kate Brown (illustrator)
David Fickling Books and Phoenix Comics
Feisty Tamsin knew she shouldn't go surfing alone, but when her brother, Morgan and his friend leave her on the beach, she goes in the water to prove she doesn't need them. Unfortunately, she wipes out and gets lost. Returning home, she discovers that she has been missing for a month. What is going on?
Tamsin is dragged into a world of ancient magic. Her family is in danger- and only she can save them.
With everything I would expect from an excellent comic, 'Tamsin and the Deep' tells a compelling and exciting story. The comic strip spreads are laid out with great care to enhance the tale being told and the use of muted, washed out tones for the sections of story told by the blackbird is particularly effective.
As well as being enjoyed in its own right, being excellent for encouraging reluctant readers, boy readers, reluctant boy readers and so on, this story is full of potential for developing children's writing skills. The sparse use of language in this genre supported by the detailed illustrations can be used for discussion and drama to encourage the children gather and extend vocabulary. The sequenced spreads are perfect for developing description and adding detail, encouraging children to build their writing step by step.
Neill Cameron's 'How to Make Awesome Comics' is also an excellent book which children spend ages exploring and using to improve their skills. A must for any library!