Amiable goofiness to the nth degree—a winner.


From the Bean Dog and Nugget series , Vol. 1

Bean Dog and Nugget are ready for action!

Bean Dog, a pink bean, or perhaps a hot dog, with stick arms and plaid shorts, has a new ball. It’s shiny and perfect and special to him. He’s having the best day playing with his ball when he sees Nugget, a pink circle with stick arms, a bow and a skirt. She thinks his ball is great, but he won’t let her play with it. She sets off whistling, and he thinks better of his selfishness, tossing it and telling her to think fast. The ball bounces off her roundness and vanishes…into the spooky bushes. How can they get Bean Dog’s ball back? Throw snowballs at it? Donuts? Monkeys? Muffins? No, their shoes! Now their shoes are stuck too. This calls for some deep thinking and a plan: Superdog and Ninja Nugget attack the bushes with garden implements. They get their stuff back: Yeah! After a game and some cake, it really is the best day! Harper kicks off another graphic-novel series for the early-reader audience with a tale happily devoid of the potty humor and didacticism that mark her Wedgieman titles. The simplicity of the illustrations and the text will draw in young readers, who will identify with the enthusiasm and silliness of these two-color, stick-and-bean characters.

Amiable goofiness to the nth degree—a winner. (Graphic early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 14, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-307-97707-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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Young Otto loves orange so much that when a sly genie rises up out of an old lamp he receives from Aunt Sally Lee, he uses his one wish to turn all the world that color. His ensuing bliss changes to blues, though, after he gets a gander at his orange lunch and then sees what happens on the street when every traffic light is the same color. Cammuso illustrates comics veteran Lynch’s tale in neatly drawn sequential panels, casting Otto as a cat (marmalade, of course) in human dress and pairing him with a blue, distinctly Disneyesque genie. Discovering that said genie hasn’t eaten in 880 years, Otto cleverly calls on the persuasive power of pizza to reverse the wish, and by the end all’s well. Low on violence and high on production values, this comics-format “Toon Book” will leave emergent readers wishing for more. (Early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: June 9, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-9799238-2-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: RAW Junior/TOON Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2008

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Another outing positively radiant with child appeal, featuring a pair of close siblings with complementary personalities.


From the Benny and Penny series

It’s bedtime for the mouseling brother and sister—but not before plenty of horsing around and a deliciously scary expedition into the backyard.

As little Penny quietly tries to wash up and pretend-read a story (“One day the princess was sent to her room for being bratty. But she had a secret door…”), her restless big brother interrupts obnoxiously with warnings about the Boogey Mouse, loud belches and other distractions. When Benny realizes that he’s left his prized pirate hat in the backyard, though, Penny braves the Boogey Mouse to follow him out of the window and prod him into reclaiming it from the spooky, dark playhouse. She also “reads” him to sleep after the two race, giggling at their fright, back indoors. Framed in sequential panels that occasionally expand to full-page or double-spread scenes, the art features a pair of big-eared, bright-eyed mites (plus the occasional fictive dinosaur) in cozy domestic settings atmospherically illuminated by the glow of lamps, Benny’s flashlight and the moon. As in this popular series’ earlier episodes, dialogue in unobtrusive balloons furnishes the only text, but the action is easy to follow, and Hayes provides plenty of finely drawn visual cues to the characters’ feelings.

Another outing positively radiant with child appeal, featuring a pair of close siblings with complementary personalities. (Graphic early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-935179-20-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: TOON/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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