BUNBUN & BONBON

FANCY FRIENDS

This sweet volume is sure to bounce off the shelves.

A perky rabbit and a fancy candy become best friends in this cheerful graphic novel.

Bunbun, an all-white rabbit, has almost everything: “a delightful Bunbun nose, a winning Bunbun smile, a ridiculously cute Bunbun tail,” and so on. But the one thing Bunbun does not have is a friend! Enter Bonbon. Initially mistaken for a talking rock, Bonbon is a bouncy, purple, and effervescently cheerful anthropomorphic piece of candy. The pair immediately becomes fast friends as they discover mutual passions for bouncing and for all things fancy: fancy vocabulary whether or not they know the meaning (“like croissant”), music, food (“fancy french fries and fancy ketchup!”). This all leads them to co-plan a fancy party! The story is virtually conflict-free; the most tension-filled moment is when the duo comes across a snake whom they assume to be a predator but who in fact is just looking for friendship too and ultimately joins their party. Both Bunbun and Bonbon remain ungendered throughout; neither is referred to with pronouns. Thick lines, clear borders, bright colors, and a bold, highly readable san serif type make this title ideal for newly independent readers or younger children looking for a first graphic novel to share with a grown-up. The multitalented Keating’s debut graphic novel is perfect for fans of Ben Clanton’s Narwhal and Jelly and Heather Ayris Burnell and Hazel Quintanilla’s Unicorn and Yeti.

This sweet volume is sure to bounce off the shelves. (Graphic early reader. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-64683-2

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2020

SNOW PLACE LIKE HOME

From the Diary of an Ice Princess series

A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre.

Ice princess Lina must navigate family and school in this early chapter read.

The family picnic is today. This is not a typical gathering, since Lina’s maternal relatives are a royal family of Windtamers who have power over the weather and live in castles floating on clouds. Lina herself is mixed race, with black hair and a tan complexion like her Asian-presenting mother’s; her Groundling father appears to be a white human. While making a grand entrance at the castle of her grandfather, the North Wind, she fails to successfully ride a gust of wind and crashes in front of her entire family. This prompts her stern grandfather to ask that Lina move in with him so he can teach her to control her powers. Desperate to avoid this, Lina and her friend Claudia, who is black, get Lina accepted at the Hilltop Science and Arts Academy. Lina’s parents allow her to go as long as she does lessons with grandpa on Saturdays. However, fitting in at a Groundling school is rough, especially when your powers start freak winter storms! With the story unfurling in diary format, bright-pink–highlighted grayscale illustrations help move the plot along. There are slight gaps in the storytelling and the pacing is occasionally uneven, but Lina is full of spunk and promotes self-acceptance.

A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre. (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 25, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-35393-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

THE LOST STONE

From the The Kingdom of Wrenly series , Vol. 1

A gentle adventure that sets the stage for future quests.

A lonely prince gains a friend for a quest to find a missing jewel.

Prince Lucas of Wrenly has everything a boy could possibly want—except a friend. His father has forbidden him to play with the village children for reasons of propriety. Adventure-seeking Lucas acquires peasant clothes to masquerade as a commoner and make friends, but he is caught out. His mother, the queen, persuades the king to allow him one friend: Clara, the daughter of her personal dressmaker. When the queen’s prized emerald pendant goes missing, Lucas and Clara set off to find it. They follow the jewel as it changes hands, interviewing each temporary owner. Their adventure cleverly introduces the series’ world and peoples, taking the children to the fairy island of Primlox, the trolls’ home of Burth, the wizard island of Hobsgrove and finally Mermaid’s Cove. By befriending the mermaids, Lucas and Clara finally recover the jewel. In thanks, the king gives Clara a horse of her own so that she may ride with Lucas on their future adventures. The third-person narration is generally unobtrusive, allowing the characters to take center stage. The charming, medieval-flavored illustrations set the fairy-tale scene and take up enough page space that new and reluctant readers won’t be overwhelmed by text.

 A gentle adventure that sets the stage for future quests. (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-9691-0

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 11, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

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