Simple stories of happy adventure await with Boris the cat and friends.

Boris the cat is always trying something joyfully new in this collection of warmhearted short comics from Germany

Boris is a charming black-and-orange–striped cat who lives in a cozy house and spends his days with his many animal friends. His adventures are delightfully mild: having a surprise party, coming across a rare mushroom, making a new nest for the storks, liberating a goldfish, catching a ride in a pelicans’ mouth, or cozying up with baby owls are a representative sampling. Holly the hedgehog, Sophie the squirrel, Alex the frog, Biff the badger, Bruno the bear, and other friends help Boris as he discovers new ways to have fun and have happy discoveries in a dozen-plus stories for each of the four seasons. Boris and his friends wend their way through these short stories, each one illustrated in block comic form and spanning about two pages. These snippets are short and sweet, with no scary themes and always a happy, creative resolution to Boris’ many adventures. Children and adults will both appreciate these morsels of masterful ministorytelling. The book concludes with an afterword about the author, who died in 2017. Children might be encouraged to write their own minicomics after seeing how much Moser fit into just six brightly illustrated panels.

Simple stories of happy adventure await with Boris the cat and friends. (Graphic fiction. 8-adult)

Pub Date: Nov. 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-7358-4454-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: NorthSouth

Review Posted Online: Sept. 23, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2021


The greeting-card art and jokey rhymes work for the baby-shower market but not for the youngest readers.

Animal parents declare their love for their offspring through rhymed puns and sentimental art.

The title sets the scene for what’s to come: The owl asks the owlet as they fly together, “WHOO loves you?”; the kangaroo and joey make each other “very HOPPY”; and the lioness and cub are a “PURRRFECT pair.” Most of the puns are both unimaginative and groanworthy, and they are likely to go over the heads of toddlers, who are not know for their wordplay abilities. The text is set in abcb quatrains split over two double-page spreads. On each spread, one couplet appears on the verso within a lightly decorated border on pastel pages. On the recto, a full-bleed portrait of the animal and baby appears in softly colored and cozy images. Hearts are prominent on every page, floating between the parent and baby as if it is necessary to show the love between each pair. Although these critters are depicted in mistily conceived natural habitats and are unclothed, they are human stand-ins through and through.

The greeting-card art and jokey rhymes work for the baby-shower market but not for the youngest readers. (Board book. 6 mos-2)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-1374-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020



From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 14

Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs.

The Heffley family’s house undergoes a disastrous attempt at home improvement.

When Great Aunt Reba dies, she leaves some money to the family. Greg’s mom calls a family meeting to determine what to do with their share, proposing home improvements and then overruling the family’s cartoonish wish lists and instead pushing for an addition to the kitchen. Before bringing in the construction crew, the Heffleys attempt to do minor maintenance and repairs themselves—during which Greg fails at the work in various slapstick scenes. Once the professionals are brought in, the problems keep getting worse: angry neighbors, terrifying problems in walls, and—most serious—civil permitting issues that put the kibosh on what work’s been done. Left with only enough inheritance to patch and repair the exterior of the house—and with the school’s dismal standardized test scores as a final straw—Greg’s mom steers the family toward moving, opening up house-hunting and house-selling storylines (and devastating loyal Rowley, who doesn’t want to lose his best friend). While Greg’s positive about the move, he’s not completely uncaring about Rowley’s action. (And of course, Greg himself is not as unaffected as he wishes.) The gags include effectively placed callbacks to seemingly incidental events (the “stress lizard” brought in on testing day is particularly funny) and a lampoon of after-school-special–style problem books. Just when it seems that the Heffleys really will move, a new sequence of chaotic trouble and property destruction heralds a return to the status quo. Whew.

Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3903-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2019

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