A shrewd and spirited adaptation that will leave audiences hoping for another installment.

The action of this graphic fantasy takes place Second Star to the Right, straight on through the Looking Glass, in a place that is definitely not Kansas anymore!

Novelist Weir (yes, the Weir of The Martian fame) and cartoonist/illustrator Andersen’s deliciously funny debut team-up reunites the heroines from three of the Victorian era’s most memorable children’s books and sends them on a rollicking adventure. All teenagers, Wendy Darling, Dorothy Gale, and Alice Liddell are united at a special research facility where their parents send them to be educated. Under the tutelage of the enigmatic Dr. Rutherford and the ever watchful eye of a certain nanny who flies via umbrella, each girl discovers her powers and a sense of personal agency as they team up to free their respective fantasy lands from the combined menace of the Wicked Witch of the West and Capt. Hook. Each heroine emerges as a fully three-dimensional protagonist with a distinctive personality that enables her to feel both timeless and timely. The tart-tongued Alice is not averse to dropping the occasional “#%$@,” while tomboyish Wendy is as battle savvy as Peter ever was. Andersen’s delightful cartoon drawing style meshes perfectly with Weir’s prose, allowing the work to broaden its appeal beyond middle graders to young adults and adults. In the illustrations, Alice and Wendy both present white while Dorothy has brown skin.

A shrewd and spirited adaptation that will leave audiences hoping for another installment. (Fantasy. 12-adult)

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-399-58207-3

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Ten Speed Press

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019


Hinds adds another magnificent adaptation to his oeuvre (King Lear, 2009, etc.) with this stunning graphic retelling of Homer’s epic. Following Odysseus’s journey to return home to his beloved wife, Penelope, readers are transported into a world that easily combines the realistic and the fantastic. Gods mingle with the mortals, and not heeding their warnings could lead to quick danger; being mere men, Odysseus and his crew often make hasty errors in judgment and must face challenging consequences. Lush watercolors move with fluid lines throughout this reimagining. The artist’s use of color is especially striking: His battle scenes are ample, bloodily scarlet affairs, and Polyphemus’s cave is a stifling orange; he depicts the underworld as a colorless, mirthless void, domestic spaces in warm tans, the all-encircling sea in a light Mediterranean blue and some of the far-away islands in almost tangibly growing greens. Don’t confuse this hefty, respectful adaptation with some of the other recent ones; this one holds nothing back and is proudly, grittily realistic rather than cheerfully cartoonish. Big, bold, beautiful. (notes) (Graphic classic. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7636-4266-2

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010


A warm, sweet, lovely tale of a world readers will want to live in.

In a not-so-distant future where changing one’s physical features is as easy as purchasing nanobot mods, Sunati falls for Austen, a girl who always looks the same.

Since Austen never changes, Sunati admires what she assumes is her bravery and confidence. As Sunati and Austen chat more, Austen bluntly asks Sunati if she only wants to get to know her more because of her medical condition, which prevents her from using mods. As they gradually grow closer, Sunati learns how to interact more respectfully with those who have overactive immune systems as well as to share her feelings more honestly. Austen, in turn, learns to trust Sunati. This beautifully illustrated slice-of-life tale that shows two young women of color getting to know each other and creating a relationship is so warm and charming that readers will hardly notice how much they are learning about how to better interact with folx who are different from themselves and the importance of not making assumptions. The story also successfully weaves in agender, genderfluid, and asexual characters as well as the subjects of parenting and colorism into the natural arc of Sunati and Austen’s developing story. The soft, romantic artwork evokes hazy watercolors. The speech bubbles are predominantly pink and blue, and the varied layout will maintain readers’ interest.

A warm, sweet, lovely tale of a world readers will want to live in. (Graphic romance. 12-18)

Pub Date: May 19, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4998-1110-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: March 24, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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