From the Series Tao, the Little Samurai
Tao and his friends are super excited for the International Martial Arts Championship! But trouble is close behind them. When two top students from Master Snow’s school disappear, Tao is on the case. Can he solve the mystery, defeat a clan of nasty criminals, and find a legendary sword?
|Interest Level||Grade 2 - Grade 5|
|Reading Level||Grade 2|
|Genre||Fiction, Graphic Novels|
|Publisher||Lerner Publishing Group|
|Imprint||Graphic Universe ™|
|Reading Counts! Level||3.1|
“When two of their schoolmates are kidnapped, Tao and his friends team up to find them. In the fourth installment of this French graphic-novel series, Richard and Ryser set aside their usual short gags for a single book-length mystery: the disappearance of Master Snow’s two best students from the International Martial Arts Championship. With their usual disregard for the rules, Tao and the other younger students decide to investigate, eventually uncovering a link between the missing students and a legendary katana. Though the narrative is longer, the slapstick humor is unchanged from the earlier outings. Tao oversleeps on the day of their departure and forgets to put on his pants in his rush to make the bus; later, he runs into a telephone pole while chasing suspects. The worldbuilding remains generically Asian, though less aggressively so than in the first two volumes. Ryser’s art ably conveys Tao’s energy and enthusiasm and especially shines during the climactic fight between the students and the kidnappers. The simultaneously publishing fifth volume, Wild Animals!, returns to the original episodic structure, though oddly without the tongue-in-cheek chapter headings. It introduces a new female character, Ruby, who adds gender balance to the cast but who also fills the predictable role of Kat’s romantic rival. A ho-hum entry in the increasingly crowded children’s graphic-novel field.” —Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal
“Readers will enjoy the back matter, which includes pictures of the creators’ desks along with art renderings and martial arts photos. Recommended as an additional purchase.” —School Library Journal
Author: Laurent Richard
Illustrator: Nicolas Ryser
Nicolas Ryser attended the School of Graphic Arts Estienne in Paris and specialized in illustration and typography. He won several competitions including the Angoulème and works for the magazine Casus Belli in France.