Together with its companion, a fine way to introduce toddlers to comic-book codes and emotional literacy—talk about bang for...

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I'M GRUMPY

From the My First Comics series

A comic book for the littlest readers.

The narrator introduces Grumpy Cloud, pictured in a full-page panel by himself in an otherwise blue sky, raining grouchily on an unhappy rabbit. Why is he grumpy? A sequence of four panels on verso depicts him being wakened by an early bird, rained on, snagged on a mountaintop, and losing his hat to the wind. Three further panels, staggered down the page on recto, show him about to lick an ice cream cone, the ice cream falling out, and him glaring at the now-empty cone; the single word of text reads “SPLAT!” That’s a very sophisticated double-page spread, indicating that this book is probably best suited to toddlers who have had a fair amount of exposure to books already. That the storyline concerns emotional literacy reinforces this. Declaring that he’s “just grumpy because,” Grumpy Cloud does his best to resist the good cheer of Sunny (the sun). He drives Sunny away with a couple of thunderbolts and a “KABOOM!”—only to feel guilty and apologize (with a little smile). Companion title I’m Sunny! focuses on Sunny, who finds a balloon, refuses to share it with Tizzy Tornado, feels guilty, and apologizes. Both titles tell their stories in a mix of narrative panels, speech bubbles, and ebullient sound effects.

Together with its companion, a fine way to introduce toddlers to comic-book codes and emotional literacy—talk about bang for your buck. (Graphic board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 26, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-553-53344-6

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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A decent introduction to the characters, but diversity remains a problem. And give Supergirl some pants! (Board book. 2-3)

GIRL POWER!

From the DC Super Friends series

DC Comics’ superwomen fight the good fight.

Catwoman has stolen one of Gotham City’s most precious jewels, and it’s up to Batgirl and her superfriends to save the day! With each turn of the page little readers are introduced to a different female DC Comics hero. In addition to Batgirl, Hawkgirl, Supergirl, and Wonder Woman get their own pages, while other DC characters lurk beneath small flaps. Unfortunately, those tertiary characters are mostly men. Superman and (the white) Green Lantern pop up quickly, followed by Cyborg and Flash. The villains are mostly men as well, which is curious. Why bring in Captain Cold when Killer Frost is readily available and much, much cooler? At least Harley Quinn, Cheetah, and Poison Ivy make appearances. The only person of color on hand is Cyborg (green Poison Ivy doesn’t count) even though the roles of Hawkgirl and Green Lantern have been filled by people of color in other media. Also disappointing is the notion that these badass women need their male counterparts to vanquish the male villains. And then there are those hot pants….

A decent introduction to the characters, but diversity remains a problem. And give Supergirl some pants! (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-374-30397-6

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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