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From the I Like To Read Comics series

Let’s hope these three kittens have more adventures to come.

Market day is a day of discovery for three anthropomorphic kittens.

The cats from Spring Cakes (2021) help their mother sell her baked goods at market day for the first time. Calico kitty Cinnamon lays out the sweet and savory treats. Orange kitten Ginger trades some muffins for a scarf knitted by a cat who doesn’t have any cash. But the kittens are quickly tired out…so Mom gives them some money and baked goods and sends them out to explore. They decide to look for a gift for her. The soup they eat is yummy, but as Cinnamon points out, it would spill if they tried to bring back a bowl. Gray cat Nutmeg wonders if Mom would like a carrot, but Ginger notes that they have veggies at home. Each kitten buys something as they search, so when they find the perfect gift—a rainbow shell—they have to barter for it. Then they notice that they’re lost! Cooler heads prevail, and they retrace their steps to watch the sunset with Mom and enjoy a magical party in which the veggies come to life and dance. Harmon’s second early reader for lovers of comics and cats is as charming and uplifting as the first. Simple text in speech bubbles and narrative boxes, combined with bright, engaging panels and a relatable story, make for a fine tale for those new to graphic novels.

Let’s hope these three kittens have more adventures to come. (Graphic fantasy/early reader. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2024

ISBN: 9780823453672

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 21, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2023

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From the I Like To Read Comics series

Fast and furious action guaranteed to keep new readers laughing and turning pages.

Never underestimate the chaotic fun that magic and an angry bouncing ball can create.

When Frog goes to the library, he borrows a book on magic. He then heads to a nearby park to read up on the skills necessary to becoming “a great magician.” Suddenly, a deflated yellow ball lands with a “Thud!” at his feet. Although he flexes his new magician muscles, Frog’s spells fall as flat as the ball. But when Frog shouts “Phooey!” and kicks the ball away, it inflates to become a big, angry ball. The ball begins to chase Frog, so he seeks shelter in the library—and Frog and ball turn the library’s usual calm into chaos. The cartoon chase crescendos. The ball bounces into the middle of a game of chess, interrupts a puppet show, and crashes into walls and bookcases. Staying just one bounce ahead, Frog runs, hides, grabs a ride on a book cart, and scatters books and papers as he slides across the library furniture before an alligator patron catches the ball and kicks it out the library door. But that’s not the end of the ball….Caple’s tidy panels and pastel-hued cartoons make a surprisingly effective setting for the slapstick, which should have young readers giggling. Simple sentences—often just subject and verb—with lots of repetition propel the action. Frog’s nonsense-word spells (“Poof Wiffle, Bop Bip!”) are both funny and excellent practice in phonetics. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Fast and furious action guaranteed to keep new readers laughing and turning pages. (Graphic early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 10, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4341-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2021

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A visual and emotional symphony.

A tiger, with some unusual help, fights off a nightmare.

Tiger’s parents don’t quite believe that the reason she carries extra curry or tacos from the supper table to her bedroom is because she has a monster under her bed, but it’s true. Monster was supposed to scare her long ago, but instead they play together nightly. Then, while Tiger sleeps, Monster scares away Tiger’s horned, multieyed, centipedelike nightmares—until a nightmare with a long-jawed white skull and a changeable, smoky body arrives. It conquers Monster and reaches Tiger. From now on, Tiger and Monster must work together. The plans they implement are brilliant and brave, and their hard-won victory (it takes a few tries) couldn’t be more triumphant, relieving, or empowering. Compositions range from full-bleed spreads to pages holding multiple sequential panels. Using watercolors and pencils, Tetri creates one color-world of inky blues (Monster; nighttime) and another of oranges and yellows (Tiger; daytime). The meanings of each color-world hold nuance and complexity: The nightmares are of the blue world, but so are coziness and small, dear Monster; Tiger’s victory explodes with warm colors like dawn, but she could only achieve it at night. Rich details enhance the setting inconspicuously: Tiger’s parents, also tigers, run a repair shop for flying cars; one parent is Dad while the other is of undesignated gender.

A visual and emotional symphony. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62672-535-5

Page Count: 64

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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