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Three must-read illustrated books for you

Because like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

National Reading Movement (@readingnationSG)
National Reading Movement (@readingnationSG)

Published: 8 March 2021, 2:38 PM

There are days when we are unable to put a book down, but often, it is more likely that we cannot bring ourselves to even pick one up. With all that reading, writing and thinking that is required for school and work, sometimes the last thing on our minds is to read more words.

Instead of binge-watching yet another show though, why not dive into the intriguing world of graphic novels, comics and illustrated books? They promise less words, more pictures, and the same, familiar escape into alternative places, lives and adventures.

Here are three that are likely to leave you in tears — whether from laughing or crying — as they reflect our dreams, fears and realities back to us through wonderful illustrations and just a sprinkling of words.

"Adulthood is a Myth" by Sarah Andersen




If you’ve ever wondered: “Am I the only weird one, struggling to be all grown up?”, this comic book is the reassuring “No.” you need to hear.

Sarah Andersen’s comics capture the awkward, embarrassing and laugh-out-loud moments that most young adults deal with – from how often we actually get the laundry done, to pretending not to know someone’s entire life history from having previously stalked their social media.

This hilariously relatable book is a reminder that it is okay to be just as we are, because everyone else is learning how to be a normal, functional adult too.

Borrow the book via NLB Mobile app: Physical book, eBook

"The Handmaid's Tale: The Graphic Novel" by Margaret Atwood, art and adaptation by Renee Nault




“Ordinary is what you are used to. … This may not seem ordinary to you now, but after a time it will. It will become ordinary.”

Praise be. Margaret Atwood’s modern classic, The Handmaid’s Tale, comes to life through haunting illustrations in this graphic novel adaptation by Renee Nault. 

Here in Gilead, women are not allowed to read nor have access to money, and are forced to live in fearful submission in a totalitarian, patriarchal system.

Nault’s powerful illustrations capture the nuances of the original story in terrifying detail – from the horrors of rationalised violence to the stirrings of resistance in the face of oppression and helplessness. 

Borrow the book via the NLB Mobile app: Physical book, eBook

"There Must Be More Than That!" by Shinsuke Yoshitake




“Grown-ups often tell you to choose one of two things. But if neither of them seems right… It’s okay to find something new on your own!”

Author-illustrator Shinsuke Yoshitake writes delightfully quirky picture books that are loved by the young and the young-at-heart. His books, which include the bestselling The Boring Book and What Happens Next?, are humorous explorations into curious questions and ideas.

In There Must Be More Than That!, a child panicking about the future finds more optimistic and productive ways of coping. Uplifting and optimistic with a dash of silliness, this is a must-read read for anxious, stressed-out folks.

Borrow the book via the NLB Mobile app: Physical book, eBook

Follow the National Reading Movement Facebook or Instagram for more book recommendations, or download the NLB Mobile app to browse on your own!

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