Sunny Rolls the Dice


‘Sunny Rolls the Dice’ on a Saturday afternoon when she joins a group of new friends to play Dungeons and Dragons. Her character is an elvin fighter. Sunny looks forward to their character role play and imaginings. However things are changing around her. Suddenly old friends, like Deb, are keen to be cool. Sunny tries, but she doesn’t really understand why heated rollers and designer jeans rate as ‘cool’. Throughout the graphic novel she grades her efforts on a Groovy Meter, like the practice of popular 1970’s subscription magazines.

Does Sunny ever roll the dice of coolness? Will she meet Deb’s spring formal paper flower creating ideal? Are a kitten and a figurine not permitted on a Christmas list which should have a cool cassette player?

The confusion of trying to be the ‘right kind of person’ who fits in, is familiar to every reader, while the 1970’s references are fun and interesting. Bookwagon has enjoyed following Sunny’s story, from Sunny Side Up. Like that opening title, ‘Sunny Rolls the Dice’ draws upon Jennifer and Matthew Holm’s memories and experiences of family life.


Sunny Rolls the Dice

Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm


‘Sunny Rolls the Dice’ in the basement with her Dungeons and Dragons’ crew. However moods and routines are changing. Suddenly old friends are focused on being cool. Evidently playing with dice in a basement with new friends isn’t cool. Sunny is rather lost. She would rather use her pocket money to buy a figurine than designer jeans. Boys aren’t people to be rated but friends with whom to play character games. Who changed all the rules?
We encountered Sunny first when she was despatched to her grandfather’s Florida retirement home in Sunny Side Up. As she worked to deal with the family fall out of her older brother’s problems, Sunny returned in Swing It, Sunny. Brother and sister graphic novelists, Jennifer and Matthew Holm  have created a realistic, approachable heroine with whom we empathise. It’s obvious that they use their own experiences and recovered feelings in their storytelling. We would prefer to play Dungeons and Dragons with Sunny any Saturday afternoon than head to the mall. In our world, ‘Sunny Rolls the Dice’. 


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