The other day, someone on Tumblr shared the Emily Carroll graphic story, "His Face All Red." If you haven't read, I urge you to check it out. I shared the story with my coworkers, and they loved it. So yesterday, I see this book as I'm shelving the graphic novels and put it aside. I looked through it when we first got it in June, but I didn't give it much attention because of the Summer Program. I cracked it open and scanned the first few pages, realizing the art looked familiar. This was Emily Carroll's story, her art. "Under the Floorboards" follows the tale of a girl who takes advantage of a wax figure's kindness. When it is not returned, the doll becomes enraged. Dark. Unsettling, but it's no "His Face All Red," I can tell you that much. Intrigued, I continued onward.
The collection tells tales about boxes. Some contain good things, others bad. Some of the stories are lighthearted, while others take a darker tone. Still, it's appropriate for kids.
In "Spring Cleaning," Oliver discovers a box within his messy closet. A valuable box, indeed, that wizards are after. "The Keeper's Treasure," follows a young man as he uncovers a treasure and a new friend who has never stepped foot outside into the world. "The Butter Thief" reminds us that it's better to keep our word than to be dishonorable, whereas, "The Solider's Daughter" tells us to seek solace rather than vengeance. "Whatzit" is a humorous tale that reminds us curiosity, while great for our development, can bring us some trouble. And Kazu Kibuishi's "The Escape Option," reminds us that we cannot escape our fates.
Explorer: The Mystery Boxes is highly entertaining, and provides a vast amount of morals in such a short book. A must read for children and their parents.