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SUPER FAMILY! by Cale Atkinson Kirkus Star


From the Simon and Chester series, volume 3

by Cale Atkinson ; illustrated by Cale Atkinson

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2022
ISBN: 978-0-7352-7243-9
Publisher: Tundra Books

A ghost and his living boy buddy get philosophical (and funny).

Readers won’t have to be superfans to enjoy Book 3 in the Simon and Chester graphic-novel series, but they’ll be trying to scare up the previous volumes soon if they start here. Sweet and sassy ghost Simon and his human housemates Chester and Chester’s grandma could hardly be called a “normal” family, but so-called typical family dynamics are exactly what are examined here. After a morning watching cartoons, Chester finds himself wondering what traditional nuclear family life would be like. Maintaining that their situation is great, Simon redirects focus to his upcoming Annual Specter Convention, where he’ll no doubt bump into his nemesis, Clancy. Simon departs, and Chester mopes until his friend Amie calls to invite him along on her family’s weekend water park trip. Begging off from his usual cozy routine of puzzles and pizza with Grandma, Chester hops in the car with Amie’s family. What follows is a comedy of errors that creates a perfect aha moment for young Chester, and though Simon ends up tuning out during a lecture at the convention, he finds what he needs in a most unexpected way. Atkinson’s mastery of facial expressions is unmatched in comics today, and the combination of visual and written humor with genuinely sweet revelations about the nature of familial love is so perfectly balanced it’s simply superb. Chester and Grandma are brown-skinned; Amie is tan-skinned, and her family is multiracial.

An abnormally good read for the whole super family!

(Graphic novel. 6-10)