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Sweaterweather & Other Short Stories
by Sara Varon
First Second, $19.99, 128pp
Published: February 2016

Sweaterweather & Other Short Stories is a collection of seventeen short comics, illustrated entries and essay style stories. It's an extended version of Sara Varon's first book and adds some additional new stories, thoughts and notes of inspiration.

At the beginning of each story, there is a short entry to explain the idea or process behind its creation. Sometimes it was a class exercise or practice session that brought it about; other times it was a memory of an event that is responsible for its existence.

The illustrations are mostly of anthropomorphic animals: dogs, cats, bunnies, goats and other assorted creatures. One or more of the characters occasionally represent the author herself as she was working through certain feelings or emotions.

Some of the stories are fluffy and cute, while a few are learning experiences which the author wants to share with the reader.  The story I enjoyed the most was done as part comic and part journal entry with illustrations. It was a detailed description about how to be a beekeeper.

This is not the traditional idea of what one thinks of when one goes looking for a graphic novel so it might not be your cup of tea; if it is what you're looking for, then you won't need any sugar in that tea, since this book is full of sweetness that can be enjoyed by young and old alike. ~~ Dee Astell

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