If you have not read Jeff Smith’s Bone series, you really need to do so. What you will discover is a masterpiece of comic storytelling appropriate for readers of all ages. “Bone” (Scholastic) tells the story of three cousins: Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone, who venture out of Boneville and end up in a strange new valley and an epic adventure.
Along with the young Thorn and her Gran’ma Ben they encounter rat creatures, dragons, hooded warriors, a giant mountain lion, friendly forest animals, and Ted the bug. Smith masterfully juggles this “Lord of the Rings”-style saga with many laugh-out-loud moments. The Bone cousins are great, endearing characters equal to some of Disney‘s best.
In 2010, there were two new additions to the epic. The "Bone Handbook" is a goody bag full of all things Bone, including a rundown of the characters and story, interviews with Smith and Hamaker, comics, fun facts, and even some recipes. Just released this summer is "Bone Tall Tales." This pulls together some other short stories mostly centered on Daniel Boone-type ancestor "Big Johnson Bone."
Then for readers who can’t get enough of Gran’ma Ben, there’s also "Rose," the story of Gran’ma Ben when she was a young princess. “Rose” makes a great prologue to the main saga, despite the absence of the Bone cousins.