Sara Varon’s “Sweater Weather”Gives a Peek Into the Creative Process of an Award Winning Graphic Novelist

Sara Varon is no stranger to receiving praise for her books and she should expect another wave for this release. The first eight stories in this set of eighteen was originally published in 2003 with the same name, “Sweater Weather.” It’s a rare treat for readers to have the opportunity to see the development of an author and illustrator from their first published work through to their most current piece.

Ms. Varon includes a hand written piece that describes her inspiration before each story. Some explain her choices, personal situations at the time the pieces were written, or other interesting tidbits of information. She shares examples of the growth in her illustrating and story-telling abilities throughout the book.

sweaterweather1

Primarily told with wordless comics the stories center on friendships and resourcefulness. They are appropriate for children but can be enjoyed by adults.  They also serve as an excellent tool for educators and parents to introduce or reinforce the concept of reading a story through its illustrations. Sara’s drawing style combines whimsical cartoon critters with simple backgrounds which ads depth to the frames. Most pages are printed in only two color but Varon uses ines and hash marks to express what other artists need varied colors to get across.

While there are many gems throughout the book, my favorite moment occurs in the story Lion Comic. The story is about a Lion who is desperate to fit in with the other jungle animals. In one frame the lion is playing cards with two zebras and he’s wearing a zebra sweater and the reader instantly remembers a time when they too have worked too hard to fit in.

Printed on thick, glossy paper which is appealing to touch as it is to read, this is a lovely collection for any fans of comics, or readers interested in learning a bit about the process of the creation of such stories.

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Publication date: February 2, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-62672-118-0
Page count: 125
Publisher: :01 First Second
 

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