Editorial Reviews for Mup
In this graphic novel, an adventurous girl and her future self collaborate to save the planet.
At 6 years old, olive-skinned Arianna Theresa Machado, called Mup, has a wonderfully vivid imagination. At home, Mup’s affectionate botanist father supports her love of “the wild places,” promising to take her to them when she’s older. But at school, Mup’s happy confidence runs up against the conventional. Other girls dream only of becoming popular, beautiful teenagers, not explorers who discover dinosaurs—and Mup never wants to grow up if it means turning into that. But after entering a glowing portal to the future, Mup meets her 16-year-old self, now called Arianna, who’s everything she feared; just as disturbing, the Black Dread disease has killed all the plants. There’s hope, though, when Mup’s father discovers a still-green African valley that could hold a cure. He, Arianna, and a stowaway Mup travel in search of that valley, but the villainous White CEO of Leopold Enterprises also wants to find it and exploit its resources. Waasi, a 12-year-old African girl, knows the way, and it’s up to her, the Machados, and a helpful dinosaur to save the last forest, the whole Earth, and Mup’s future. Writing and illustrating her first graphic novel after two conventional YA works and three children’s offerings, Gragg blends a comic-book style with beautifully rendered, richly colored landscapes. Her artwork expressively captures characters’ personalities and uses panels to convey both action and states of mind vividly. The story offers an urgent environmental message but doesn’t seem preachy thanks to the overarching personal question of staying true to yourself. Clever touches abound, such as in-group friendship necklaces and the CEO’s understated connection to King Leopold II of Belgium and his African atrocities.
A bold, entertaining, and intelligent environmental tale with great emotional resonance—a winner.
Kirkus Revews (starred review)
Raea Gragg’s fresh and dynamic art combines with her storytelling talent to deliver a rollicking adventure that explores the themes of environment disaster, stewardship, and rejuvenation – all layered on top of a poignant tale of the inner struggle for identity caused by growing up. A must-read for graphic novel lovers of all ages!
Jennifer Overaa, Librarian, San Anselmo Public Library
Mup, written and illustrated by Raea Gragg, is a graphic novel with beautiful and eye-catching illustrations, and the topics about being environmentally conscious, the angst of turning into a teenager, and family are timely and creative. Mup is a cheerful and high-spirited young girl who does not have a care in the world. She meets up with her teenaged self, Arianna, who only cares about how popular and pretty she is. Arianna’s world is a dreary place, with all the plants now dead, but her father, a botanist as well as a contagious optimist, is on a mission to Africa to find the hidden valley where a cure can be found to reverse all the damage. There, Mup, her future self, and their father, as well as a few other lively characters meet the evil villain whose only mission is to drill for oil and get rich. Mup by Raea Gragg is a fantastic way to introduce important social issues to children.
I was impressed with the creative storyline and gorgeous eye-popping graphic designs and illustrations in Mup by Raea Gragg. The pages came to life from the first to the last, and relevant social issues are revealed in a fun and non-threatening way. This is a story for all ages: the young, to introduce them to the important issue of conservation; the teenager, to soothe their anxiety about leaving childhood behind; the adult, for a gentle reminder about the feelings of being a teenager and the importance of holding onto the family. Raea Gragg is truly a dynamo and I expect to see more work from this talented author and illustrator.
Joanie Chevalier for Readers' Favorite
Moonbeam Children's Book Award Gold Medal Winner, 2021. Graphic Novel category. Medalists were chosen from 1,500 entries, and medalists represent the U.S. and 22 countries. The Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards are designed to bring increased recognition to exemplary children’s books and their creators and to support childhood literacy and life-long reading.
Graphic Novel Category Winner. "Beautifully illustrated with bright colors and sharp lines, MUP by Raea Gragg features powerful characters and a moving storyline that promotes care for the environment. Although this fast-paced graphic novel is geared for a tween-age audience, adults with enjoy the story, imagery, and message."
Dragonfly Book Awards is a national book contest recognizing exceptional authors for excellence in writing and publishing. Purple Dragonfly Award, by Story Monsters LLC, recognizes children's books. Mup, by Raea Gragg, received second place in the Graphic Novel category.
Interview with Zack (12) and Peanut (8)
What the kids are saying
I would recommend it to all kids looking for a gripping, page-turning, heart-warming adventure! Protagonist Mup is a brave little girl with big plans…to find a dinosaur. Mup gets trapped in the future and meets someone she despises…her future self, Arianna. Some things seem very wrong to little Mup: Arianna acts like she wants to fit in, something Mup would never try to do…and the world is dying of the Black Dread. Little Mup goes on an adventure with her dad and her future self to stop the Black Dread, which is killing all plant life. I think any kid elementary age would love to read this story, it is inspiring and very fun! Mup is a relatable character and the story really shows that change is not bad as long as you are yourself. Even as an 8th grader, I could not stop reading though Mup’s adventure, you will not be able to put it down!
I finished it in a day.
5 THUMBS UP!
The graphic novel Mup is superlative! With wonderful imagery, characters, and story line, once you open up the book, you get engrossed in the story. The images look like they were drawn by a very experienced, award winning graphist, and the feelings and tones are delivered with perfection.
Mup is a graphic novel that anyone will love. The amazing feelings, lessons, characters, and speech are delivered beautifully. The story Mup, by Raea Gragg is one of the best graphic novels I have ever read.
I like the characters, personalities, and the story.
My Daddy and I are reading it! I like Mup!
Raea is the next Ronald Dahl!