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Beautiful and precisely depicted, a gentle, generous reflection on civilization and community life.

In this wordless graphic novel, a young space traveler alights upon a deserted Earth and explores the remnants of our world.

A child points a rocket ship toward an unexplored spot on a map of space. The destination is none other than our own planet, devoid of humans but replete with artifacts. After landing and uncovering a stereoscopic viewfinder in a schoolyard time capsule, the protagonist discovers a map scribbled on one of the picture discs and sets out to investigate. The child traipses through neighborhood streets, traverses a once-bustling train depot, and silently surveys civilization’s great achievements in a shadowy museum and a gorgeous library. The viewfinder’s images offer clues to Earth’s emptiness: Humans chose to leave the planet following an infestation of bioluminescent fungi that descended from the sky. They also subtly suggest the photographer’s identity and their unique viewpoint on the Anthropocene’s end. Although this tale touches upon a trope that may be familiar to older readers—the eerie beauty of post-apocalyptic decay—it employs a softer lens to ponder the striving, ephemeral nature of existence. Emphatically cute yet deliberately informative panels in purple, blue, and golden-green hues are inviting and economical. The explorer is tan-skinned, the viewfinder photographer is Black, and the people seen in the images are diverse.

Beautiful and precisely depicted, a gentle, generous reflection on civilization and community life. (Graphic fiction. 6-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 13, 2024

ISBN: 9780735268753

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Tundra Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 5, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2024

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Beautiful, remarkable, amazing, and wonderful in every way.

Hector wants to be a deep-sea diver, just like his father and grandfather.

He has internalized all his grandfather’s tales, especially the story of the “rarest, whitest, and purist pearl in the world,” said to live on the seabed offshore near the Marina, their family business. But the greedy Amedeo Limonta has set up a competitive business that’s forced the Marina to close. When Hector turns 8, everything changes. On his very first dive, he discovers the magical Pearl and brings it home…and complications ensue. Hector heeds his memories and dreams of his grandfather and courageously makes it all right. Hector narrates his adventures in meticulously organized chapters, carefully introducing each character, providing detailed information about relationships and events, and sharing credit for his successes. At the conclusion Hector presents readers with vivid descriptions of his beloved village and its inhabitants. Sabatinelli provides Hector with a voice that soars with lilting, expressive language, losing nothing in Turner’s translation from Italian. Bruno’s intensely bright, sharply hued illustrations are a tour de force. A chart of semaphore flags and diagrams that detail the parts of a diving suit fill the opening pages, and those flags head each chapter. The sea is evoked with glorious dreamlike color and movement, and characters’ features and expressions immediately announce their nature, emotions, and quirks. All present White. Hector is wise, kind, and readers will take him to their hearts.

Beautiful, remarkable, amazing, and wonderful in every way. (Adventure. 6-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-63655-006-0

Page Count: 92

Publisher: Red Comet Press

Review Posted Online: June 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2021

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From the Legacy series , Vol. 2

A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship.

A young tennis champion becomes the target of revenge.

In this sequel to Legacy and the Queen (2019), Legacy Petrin and her friends Javi and Pippa have returned to Legacy’s home province and the orphanage run by her father. With her friends’ help, she is in training to defend her championship when they discover that another player, operating under the protection of High Consul Silla, is presenting herself as Legacy. She is so convincing that the real Legacy is accused of being an imitation. False Legacy has become a hero to the masses, further strengthening Silla’s hold, and it becomes imperative to uncover and defeat her. If Legacy is to win again, she must play her imposter while disguised as someone else. Winning at tennis is not just about money and fame, but resisting Silla’s plans to send more young people into brutal mines with little hope of better lives. Legacy will have to overcome her fears and find the magic that allowed her to claim victory in the past. This story, with its elements of sports, fantasy, and social consciousness that highlight tensions between the powerful and those they prey upon, successfully continues the series conceived by late basketball superstar Bryant. As before, the tennis matches are depicted with pace and spirit. Legacy and Javi have brown skin; most other characters default to White.

A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-949520-19-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Granity Studios

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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