An eerie graphic novel mystery that is bewildering and unnerving in the best way possible.

ANIMUS

A boy and girl must uncover the secrets of a ghost boy cursed to haunt a playground.

In a neighborhood in Kyoto, Japan, Hisao and Sayuri meet a boy, Toothless, at a small playground and soon discover that he is a ghost imprisoned there. He shares with them that the playground has magic abilities: The swings allow you to see into someone’s dreams, the sandbox brings life to your innermost fears, and the slide makes you young or old, depending on which direction you go on it. When their friend falls victim to the slide’s power and ends up in the hospital, so old that he is suffering from dementia, they must uncover who Toothless really is in order to save him. Following clues, the two kids find disturbing evidence of another crime as they unearth the truth. Although this is a ghost story, the spookiness is well-balanced with endearing moments of friendship, and there is beauty in the way the characters help each other change and develop. The Japanese-style black-and-white illustrations have sharp lines and detail, creating an alluring, eerie world. They capture emotions and evoke sounds, making readers feel as if they are in a real ghost story. The narrative and illustrations work together seamlessly to create mysteries that are baffling yet intriguing.

An eerie graphic novel mystery that is bewildering and unnerving in the best way possible. (Graphic novel. 12-adult)

Pub Date: May 8, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62672-183-8

Page Count: 224

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: April 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

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A tender blend of sugary, buttery, and other complex flavors that’s baked with a tremendous dash of heart.

BLOOM

Summer love rises between two boys in a bakery.

High school may have ended, but Ari is stuck with sourdough starter at his family’s bakery instead of summer gigs in the city with his band. As his family’s money grows tighter, Ari feels tethered in place. His friends start to drift toward their own futures. But the future of their band—and their friendship—drifts toward uncertainty. Under the guise of recruiting another baker to take his place, Ari hires Hector. A culinary student in Birmingham, Hector has temporarily returned home to find closure after his Nana’s passing. The two grow close in more than just the kitchen. Ari, who hates baking, even starts to enjoy himself. But will it all last? Panetta and Ganucheau’s graphic novel debut is as much a love story between people as it is with the act of baking. Ganucheau’s art, in black ink with varying shades of blue, mixes traditional paneling with beautiful double-page spreads of detailed baking scenes, where the panels sometimes take on the shape of braided loaves. The romance between Ari and Hector builds slowly, focusing on cute interactions long before progressing to anything physical. Ari and his family are Greek. Family recipes referenced in the text code Hector as Samoan. Delicious.

A tender blend of sugary, buttery, and other complex flavors that’s baked with a tremendous dash of heart. (recipe, production art) (Graphic novel. 13-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-62672-641-3

Page Count: 368

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: Nov. 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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Keenly observed and gorgeously illustrated—a triumph.

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  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2014

  • Caldecott Honor Book

THIS ONE SUMMER

A summer of family drama, secrets and change in a small beach town.

Rose’s family has always vacationed in Awago Beach. It’s “a place where beer grows on trees and everyone can sleep in until eleven,” but this year’s getaway is proving less idyllic than those of the past. Rose’s parents argue constantly, and she is painfully aware of her mother’s unhappiness. Though her friendship with Windy, a younger girl, remains strong, Rose is increasingly curious about the town’s older teens, especially Dunc, a clerk at the general store. Jillian and Mariko Tamaki (Skim, 2008) skillfully portray the emotional ups and downs of a girl on the cusp of adolescence in this eloquent graphic novel. Rose waxes nostalgic for past summers even as she rejects some old pursuits as too childlike and mimics the older teens. The realistic dialogue and sensitive first-person narration convey Rose’s naïveté and confusion, and Windy’s comfort in her own skin contrasts with Rose’s uncertainty. Both the text and art highlight small but meaningful incidents as readers gradually learn the truth behind the tension in Rose’s family. Printed in dark blue ink, Jillian Tamaki’s illustrations feature strong, fluid lines, and the detailed backgrounds and stunning two-page spreads throughout the work establish the mood and a compelling sense of place.

Keenly observed and gorgeously illustrated—a triumph. (Graphic novel. 13 & up)

Pub Date: May 6, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-59643-774-6

Page Count: 320

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: April 9, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2014

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