Hand this goofy bigfoot to young readers eager to get their starts in graphic novels.

HOW TO SPOT A SASQUATCH

Young ranger Jay uses his camping trip to capture evidence of the Sasquatch while unknowingly being occasionally pranked by one himself.

“Sound off!” Jay, a little Asian boy, is so engrossed in his quest to find the elusive Sasquatch that he is oblivious to the prompts from Ranger Dove (a young woman of color). Each member of his diverse troop questions his search tactics, which he eagerly answers only to be rebuked. Unbeknownst to all, Jay’s “lures” successfully intrigue a flower- and occasionally grass-skirt–wearing sasquatch named Sass and her posse of savvy woodland friends. In episodes characterized by quirky and physical humor, Sass messes with Jay and his troop: She leaves a “Sasquatch Footprint” (really a butt-print); she also puts out their campfire by spitting river water all over it. Things start to get real (well…Sass gets only a tad more serious) when she saves Jay from drowning and Jay wants to thank her. The story moves back and forth between the rangers and Sass and her friends, easily developing both sets of characters. Torres is a veteran of comic-book writing, and it shows, the text conveyed only in dialogue, sans narrator or footnotes. Grand’s thin, pencil-lined illustrations and the linear layout of rectangular panels make the story easy to follow for younger readers.

Hand this goofy bigfoot to young readers eager to get their starts in graphic novels. (Graphic fantasy. 6-9)

Pub Date: May 15, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-77147-277-7

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Owlkids Books

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

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What a wag.

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DOG MAN

From the Dog Man series , Vol. 1

What do you get from sewing the head of a smart dog onto the body of a tough police officer? A new superhero from the incorrigible creator of Captain Underpants.

Finding a stack of old Dog Mancomics that got them in trouble back in first grade, George and Harold decide to craft a set of new(ish) adventures with (more or less) improved art and spelling. These begin with an origin tale (“A Hero Is Unleashed”), go on to a fiendish attempt to replace the chief of police with a “Robo Chief” and then a temporarily successful scheme to make everyone stupid by erasing all the words from every book (“Book ’Em, Dog Man”), and finish off with a sort of attempted alien invasion evocatively titled “Weenie Wars: The Franks Awaken.” In each, Dog Man squares off against baddies (including superinventor/archnemesis Petey the cat) and saves the day with a clever notion. With occasional pauses for Flip-O-Rama featurettes, the tales are all framed in brightly colored sequential panels with hand-lettered dialogue (“How do you feel, old friend?” “Ruff!”) and narrative. The figures are studiously diverse, with police officers of both genders on view and George, the chief, and several other members of the supporting cast colored in various shades of brown. Pilkey closes as customary with drawing exercises, plus a promise that the canine crusader will be further unleashed in a sequel.

What a wag. (Graphic fantasy. 7-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-58160-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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A welcome, well-researched reflection of cultural pride in the early-reader landscape.

RAFI AND ROSI MUSIC!

From the Rafi and Rosi series

The fourth installment in Delacre’s early-reader series centers on the rich musical traditions of Puerto Rico, once again featuring sibling tree frogs Rafi and Rosi Coquí.

Readers learn along with Rafi and Rosi as they explore bomba, plena, and salsa in three chapters. A glossary at the beginning sets readers up well to understand the Spanish vocabulary, including accurate phoneticization for non-Spanish speakers. The stories focus on Rafi and Rosi’s relationship within a musical context. For example, in one chapter Rafi finds out that he attracts a larger audience playing his homemade güiro with Rosi’s help even though he initially excluded her: “Big brothers only.” Even when he makes mistakes, as the older brother, Rafi consoles Rosi when she is embarrassed or angry at him. In each instance, their shared joy for music and dance ultimately shines through any upsets—a valuable reflection of unity. Informational backmatter and author’s sources are extensive. Undoubtedly these will help teachers, librarians, and parents to develop Puerto Rican cultural programs, curriculum, or home activities to extend young readers’ learning. The inclusion of instructions to make one’s own homemade güiro is a thoughtful addition. The Spanish translation, also by Delacre and published simultaneously, will require a more advanced reader than the English one to recognize and comprehend contractions (“pa’bajo-pa-pa’rriba”) and relatively sophisticated vocabulary.

A welcome, well-researched reflection of cultural pride in the early-reader landscape. (Early reader. 7-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-89239-429-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Children's Book Press

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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