This is the fifth volume in the series of young adult graphic biographies published by Hyperion under the ægis of The Center for Cartoon Studies, which reaches an important milestone here in that this volume is the first to be created by a graduate of their program, and as such provides proof postive that CCS is fulfilling its mission. Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller is the most substantial work yet in this series and represents its strongest artistic achievement. More than that, it is an inspired work that demonstrates the power of comics to communicate.
It runs for 86 full color pages, each of which works from a 16-panel grid in which all panels are either a single or a multiple of a uniform 1/16-page size. Lambert, who already has a solid body of self-published work under his belt (much of which has now been collected by Secret Acres in I Will Bite You!), amply demonstrates his artistic growth by forging an original approach to the challenge of visually communicating the process by which Helen Keller, a blind, deaf and dumb child, grasped the concept of language, while simultaneously presenting the heart-rending drama of the life of Helen's teacher, Annie Sullivan, who accomplished this still amazing feat. Lambert's skill and artistic insight in producing this work are astounding and belie his youth – and also provide a fitting testimony to the value of his CCS education. This book will make an impression on any reader, regardless of age, but should prove to be especially valuable in engaging the empathy of younger readers while simultaneously providing them with instruction in both visual concepts and moral precepts.