Review: The Big Adventures of Majoko
Sometimes it’s hard for an adult to read a story for children and enjoy it for what it is. Just a story for children. On first read, adults reading The Big Adventures of Majoko might just shrug their shoulders wondering where is the complexity in this story or the oomph, but upon a second read or even just a second reflection, adults will realize, hey this is the perfect story for young kids to enjoy.
The Big Adventures of Majoko V. 1
Story by: Machiko Fuji
Art by: Tomomi Mizuna
Age Rating Ages 7+
Udon Comics. April 2009. ISBN 978-1-897376-81-2
200 p. $7.99
The story opens with Nana searching her room for a lost necklace. There she finds a book she’s never seen before and is surprised to see that it’s blank inside. That’s when Majoko lands in her room. Majoko, a witch from another realm, sent her diary into Nan’s world so that she can find a partner in adventure. While Nana is a bit reluctant at first, she quickly agrees to go and the two form a special bond.
Their first adventure is a treasure hunt to find Nana’s necklace. They fly on a broom, land by a cave, and find the necklace very quickly, but are faced with a menacing looking monster and are challenged to a staring contest to get past him. This is one of those times that I stopped and wondered where the fear and adventure was, but when Majako gets the monster to giggle with a funny face, I realized how true to the age of the intended audience.
The girls have many more adventures, like searching for good grades in a good grade orchard, or facing down a thief who steals rainbows, and finding a little boy who’s sad because he can no longer turn into a werewolf as well as the final adventure where Nana joins Majako in her school.
The manga reads in the traditional right to left format. The artwork is simplistic, yet engaging. The story is perfect for the elementary age student. Parents, teachers, and librarians, looking to fill their shelves with more age appropriate manga, will find the perfect fit with the Big Adventures of Majoko.
About Esther Keller
Esther Keller is the librarian at JHS 278, Marine Park in Brooklyn, NY. There she started the library's first graphic novel collection and strongly advocated for using comics in the classroom. She also curates the Graphic Novel collection for the NYC DOE Citywide Digital Library. She started her career at the Brooklyn Public Library and later jumped ship to the school system so she could have summer vacation and a job that would align with a growing family's schedule. On the side, she is a mother of 4 and regularly reviews for SLJ and School Library Connection (formerly LMC). In her past life, she served on the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee where she solidified her love and dedication to comics.
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