Academic journal article Literacy Learning: The Middle Years


Academic journal article Literacy Learning: The Middle Years


Article excerpt

Title: KidGlovz

Author: Julie Hunt

Illustrator: Dale Newman

Publisher: Allen & Unwin, 2015


The succinctly written prologue sets the scene for this intriguing five part graphic novel. In graphic novels, by definition, the illustrations and text play an equally important part in telling the story, establishing the characters and informing the reader. In this novel, they do so delightfully.

The story of KidGlovz, a talented young pianist--'at two years of age he played the Minute Waltz in 13 seconds' (p. 5)--is, at surface level, a tale of good versus evil, in some ways reminiscent of the classic fairy/folk tale struggles. However, it is far more complex than that. Julie Hunt's use of language, adept storytelling and wry humour, coupled with Dale Newman's evocative illustrations, have produced a novel which can be appreciated on many levels.

Kidglovz was the child of a mother with a remarkable singing voice which was stolen one night by a pedlar who spun her voice into a spool of thread. The mother, realising that she would not live, used the thread to sew a pair of gloves for her baby son, so imparting a musical talent to him through the gloves which he always wore. The baby was brought up by Lovegrove, a music teacher, until her brother, Dr Eronious Spin, realising the child's potential, took over and exploited the talent.

The characters are well defined through text and illustration. Their names often give the clue to their character types as do the clear facial drawings. …

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