The Best American Comics 2014 Notable title list includes Toon’s own David Nytra’s Secret of the Stone Frog and Geoffrey Hayes’s Patrick Eats His Peas—plus books from Toon authors Lilli Carré and Renee French! And many other excellent comics, please read through and share this thoughtful list compiled by series editor Bill Kartalopolous. 

Book: The Secret of the Stone Frog by David Nytra

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When I was a kid, I spent hours looking at my dad’s compilation of Little Nemo’s Adventures in Slumberland. I remember it was a large book, but not thick, full of artist Windsor McKay’s colorful and realistically rendered drawings of bizarre places and creatures. I wished I could reenter my dreams like Nemo does, continuing his adventures night after night, even though he falls out of bed at the end of each page.

When I saw The Secret of the Stone Frog, my first thought was, That looks like it was inspired by Little Nemo. Then, I opened it to the first page. Definitely Little Nemo… I leafed through and some Alice in Wonderland. So of course I brought it home.

Book Summary
The plot is fairly basic: siblings Leah and Alan, ages about 9 and 7, respectively, wake up in a strange forest. They get directions home from the titular stone frog, invariably stray off the path, and meet a host of strange people and animals on their way home. Some who appear to be friendly are not, and vice versa.

Review Summary
The art is spectacular. Nytra’s pen-and-ink drawings are delicately rendered and finely detailed. This book is well worth reading for the drawings alone. Although the plot is familiar, it’s not boring, thanks to Nytra’s imaginative host of secondary characters. There’s a subplot of approaching adulthood, as Leah’s parents want her to move to her own bedroom instead of sharing a room with Alan. On rereading with that aspect of the story in mind, it was easy to see the conflicts and events as symbolic of navigating the perils of adulthood.

Read More

Woodland Secrets - an illustrated book review of David Nytra’s  “The Secret of the Stone Frog" by Vera Brosgol, author of Anya’s Ghost (which won the Eisner for Best Publication for Young Adults). 

Anya’s Ghost at the Book Depository. 
The Secret of the Stone Frog at the Book Depository.

She’s also on Tumblr!

(via David Nytra’s ‘Secret of the Stone Frog’ - NYTimes.com)