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Published on August 2nd, 2012 | by Corey St Jean

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Salamander Dream

The first page of  Salamander Dream, by Hope Larson, teases the shit out of you! You’re presented with very little actual information about what’s going to happen throughout the book at all. All you see is a tree with an envelope stuck in its limbs addressed to “lost best friends,” and a tiny little face peeking out from behind a branch. You start to interrogate the tree, “Who are these lost best friends!? and who’s the little guy creeping on me!?” The tree’s answer is a calm and simple “Keep reading.”  So you do… and what you find next are a crudely drawn map of the woods and the opened letter.

The letter reads: “Once upon a time, there was a little girl very much like you. Her name was Hailey, and she lived on the furthest edge of a very small city, in the exact place where suburbs began turning to countryside. Beside her house was a little wood, and when summer came she’d kick off her shoes and run into the trees, where it was easier to believe in magic.”

Then BAM! You find yourself on a path, in a forest, surrounded by vibrant green leaves and black line branches. It’s here you’ll stay for the rest of your journey. A journey that starts with nature and magic, and somehow ends with science. Along the way you’ll get to meet this young girl, Hailey, and her magic friend, Salamander. Salamander is Hailey’s best friend, and he’s a phenomenal storyteller. He’ll tell you all about his adventures in the woods with the other magic animals (All animals are magic. Don’t question it) in such vivid detail that you’ll swear you had lived it with him.

I love everything about this graphic novel: The simple art style, with its crisp, clean, black lines and bright green fill. The way it sometimes slips into childish, crayon-style scribbles. The whimsical story line. The feeling that you’ve grown up at the end. Just… everything.

I think everyone should add this book to their collection, as long as they can find it used, because apparently new copies of it can go for nearly 200bucks! Even if it did only have one print run 7 years ago, that’s nearly $2 a page, and that’s crazy.

Find it used, buy it, read it, love it, keep it forever. I promise, it’s great.

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About the Author

Corey is a great dude with a healthy admiration for pop-punk, Pokemon, and classic movies. He also strums guitar, writes words real good occasionally, and has a super gnarly beard.



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