A sweet and amusing update.



A brave servant seeks adventure and the hand of a princess in this modern adaptation of a lesser known Grimms’ tale.

Randall wants to do more with his life than serve at the beck and call of King Arnold, a ruler so self-absorbed that he would rather focus on having paintings hung than ruling his kingdom. His opportunity comes when Arnold sends him on a covert mission to Borisylvania to discover their king’s secret for ruling so justly. Randall’s sleuthing leads to his eating a piece of the eponymous white snake and gaining the power to understand animals. Returning to Arnold, Randall begins a quest for the princess’s hand in marriage that demonstrates the value of kindness and truly listening to others. Using comic-book–style graphics and panels, Nadler makes this tale fresh, multiethnic, and accessible to younger children. The artist is an expert at using facial expressions to draw out the tale’s humor and pathos. His shrewdest update, however, is the transformation of Princess Tilda from a prize-to-be-won supporting character into an adept and capable ruler who directly challenges her father’s outdated belief that a woman is incapable of wielding power well. This shift makes the relationship between Tilda and Randall a mutual meeting of the minds rather than a means for his social advancement. Randall has light brown skin and brown hair; Arnold and Tilda present black; the rulers of Borisylvania present white.

A sweet and amusing update. (Graphic fairy tale. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-943145-37-9

Page Count: 64

Publisher: TOON Books & Graphics

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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Honest and encouraging, this will get young storytellers started—and perhaps leave them wishing for more.



A guide on how to distill the extraordinary from your own life and find a story to tell.

The unabashed Telgemeier (Smile, 2010, etc.) once more shares her personal experiences on storytelling in a how-to book on finding your own story. Explaining that for her, “the process of creating Smile was therapeutic,” Telgemeier coaxes readers to think about their own experiences by posing questions that will encourage closer looks into themselves, their environments, their families, their personal travel and school stories, their sources of inspiration, and even those supernatural elements that fascinate them. Although the book focuses heavily on creating stories from personal experience, the skills developed are meant to naturally translate into other types of storytelling. By beginning in the known world, Telgemeier gives readers a solid foundation from which to launch their artistic exploration. The book focuses mostly on the brainstorming process, offering lists of questions with space for answers, but it also provides other spaces to write full stories and to storyboard ideas. Readers also get useful tips, such as starting with loose shapes when drawing faces, with step-by-step instructions on how to illustrate faces and facial expressions. It’s very much a place to start rather than a full-on manual, and it does not offer a bibliography for kids who want to pursue graphic storytelling further.

Honest and encouraging, this will get young storytellers started—and perhaps leave them wishing for more. (Nonfiction novelty. 8-12)

Pub Date: April 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-35384-6

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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Readers in search of unalloyed wish fulfillment thickly layered with melodramatic posturing and gore-free, comics-style...


A bullying victim saves Earth after his brain is transferred into the body of a T. Rex.

Stomped flat by a huge green foot in the wake of a humiliating encounter with aptly named white classmate Melvin Goonowitz, Ralph, a nerdy boy with light-brown skin, wakes to discover that thanks to local handyman/superscientist Professor Overdrive, he’s not dead but inhabiting a toothy, if tiny-armed, dinosaur brought from the distant past. Why? Because Earth is commanded to send a champion to join 10,000 other gladiators in the interstellar Coliseum of Crunch to fight one another for the continued existence of their planets. Next to the wildly diverse array of glowering, garishly hued, mightily thewed aliens filling the graphic panels, Ralph looks like Barney’s little green brother—but with pluck and luck he not only bumbles his way to an epic win, he rescues a blue-skinned new friend from a sexual predator. Back to Earth in triumph he goes to scare Goonowitz into peeing his pants, then switch into a boy again (in a cloned bod courtesy of Professor Overdrive) with an ongoing new mission to protect little guys from getting picked on. A note about real gladiators of the ancient Roman sort is tacked on at the end.

Readers in search of unalloyed wish fulfillment thickly layered with melodramatic posturing and gore-free, comics-style violence need look no further. (Graphic fantasy/science fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 24, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4494-7208-5

Page Count: 180

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2017

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