A visual and emotional symphony.

READ REVIEW

TIGER VS. NIGHTMARE

A tiger, with some unusual help, fights off a nightmare.

Tiger’s parents don’t quite believe that the reason she carries extra curry or tacos from the supper table to her bedroom is because she has a monster under her bed, but it’s true. Monster was supposed to scare her long ago, but instead they play together nightly. Then, while Tiger sleeps, Monster scares away Tiger’s horned, multieyed, centipedelike nightmares—until a nightmare with a long-jawed white skull and a changeable, smoky body arrives. It conquers Monster and reaches Tiger. From now on, Tiger and Monster must work together. The plans they implement are brilliant and brave, and their hard-won victory (it takes a few tries) couldn’t be more triumphant, relieving, or empowering. Compositions range from full-bleed spreads to pages holding multiple sequential panels. Using watercolors and pencils, Tetri creates one color-world of inky blues (Monster; nighttime) and another of oranges and yellows (Tiger; daytime). The meanings of each color-world hold nuance and complexity: The nightmares are of the blue world, but so are coziness and small, dear Monster; Tiger’s victory explodes with warm colors like dawn, but she could only achieve it at night. Rich details enhance the setting inconspicuously: Tiger’s parents, also tigers, run a repair shop for flying cars; one parent is Dad while the other is of undesignated gender.

A visual and emotional symphony. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62672-535-5

Page Count: 64

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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Here’s hoping there will be a bunch of Baloney in the future.

BALONEY AND FRIENDS

From the Baloney & Friends series , Vol. 1

A new chapter-book series promises tons of fun for everyone.

Baloney the pig couldn’t be happier about starring in his very own book—until pals Peanut D. Horse, Bizz E. Bee, and Krabbit (a crabby rabbit) crash the introduction, leaving him frustrated. Baloney perseveres and goes on to star in several, short comic book–style stories that often break the fourth wall and that always rely on the very different personalities of the characters to deliver humor. Peanut is a Pollyanna and just a bit daffy. Bizz is a sensible, thoughtful bee-ing. Krabbit is so crabby he’d give Oscar the Grouch a run for his money. Baloney? Well, Baloney is a sensitive sort who, in two longer episodes, wants to entertain his friends with a magic show and join in their fun at swimming. Shorter “mini-comics” between these sections provide good breaks for new readers who are, perhaps, just starting to make their ways through a longer text like this. Pizolli saves the strongest story for last, delivering a sweet and satisfying portrait of Peanut’s kindness to her friend Baloney when he feels blue. And readers needn’t feel blue themselves that the story is over since they can follow handy backmatter instructions to draw their own versions of the simple, line-drawn characters.

Here’s hoping there will be a bunch of Baloney in the future. (Graphic fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-368-05454-6

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion/LBYR

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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This seemingly simple tale packs a satisfying emotional punch. Scarily good! (Picture book. 4-7)

LOVE MONSTER

Monster lives in Cutesville, where he feels his googly eyes make him unlovable, especially compared to all the “cute, fluffy” kittens, puppies and bunnies. He goes off to find someone who will appreciate him just the way he is…with funny and heartwarming results.

A red, scraggly, pointy-eared, arm-dragging monster with a pronounced underbite clutches his monster doll to one side of his chest, exposing a purplish blue heart on the other. His oversized eyes express his loneliness. Bright could not have created a more sympathetic and adorable character. But she further impresses with the telling of this poor chap’s journey. Since Monster is not the “moping-around sort,” he strikes out on his own to find someone who will love him. “He look[s] high” from on top of a hill, and “he look[s] low” at the bottom of the same hill. The page turn reveals a rolling (and labeled) tumbleweed on a flat stretch. Here “he look[s] middle-ish.” Careful pacing combines with dramatic design and the deadpan text to make this sad search a very funny one. When it gets dark and scary, he decides to head back home. A bus’s headlights shine on his bent figure. All seems hopeless—until the next page surprises, with a smiling, orange monster with long eyelashes and a pink heart on her chest depicted at the wheel. And “in the blink of a googly eye / everything change[s].”

This seemingly simple tale packs a satisfying emotional punch. Scarily good! (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 31, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-374-34646-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2013

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