I have to admit, I am always a little skeptical of graphic novels for kids that try to teach them things. Can you blame me after reading travesties like Macbeth: The Graphic Novel (Dragon knights? Space armor? You have GOT to be kidding me. Watch The Lion King instead, it’s easier to follow.) So, you have to give me some credit for cringing a little at the back cover’s description of Terra Tempo: The Four Corners of Time, by David R. Shapiro (Author), Erica Melville (Author), and Christopher Herndon (Illustrator).
At the time of this writing, I am 32 years old but I have a 5 year old kid so I’m familiar with many different forms of tricking kids into learning something. Terra Tempo does it with style; decent art and an interesting plot. The whole thing is a mash of Magic School Bus, Sid the Science Kid, Dinosaur Train, and Jumanji.
I added that last one because the three main characters; Jenna, Caleb, and Ari are kids on a learning adventure that is REALLY dangerous. They travel back in time to where nearly every creature is designed to kill or maim you AND face a villain what has no problem shooting at kids.
I felt a little pandered to and the lessons are obvious and a bit forced in places. But again, I’m grown. I have a natural resistance to being “forced” or “tricked” into learning things. Its not a bad book by any means but for a proper opinion, allow me to quote my daughter, who just freakin LOVES dinosaurs: “This book is pretty cool, Mom!”
That it is, kid. That it is.