OLIVIA WOLF AND THE NIGHT OF THE GIANT MONSTERS

From the Olivia Wolf series , Vol. 2

A monstrously good time.

A young werewolf and her friends face off against gigantic creatures attacking their home.

In Monstrocity, “monsters and humans live peacefully side by side”…most of the time. Terrifying gigantic monsters—some as big as skyscrapers, others small ankle-biters—have invaded the city. Usually they remain in the shadows to avoid the sun, which would melt them, but this morning there is no sun. Fresh from a slumber party, Olivia Wolf and her friends Bela the vampire and Elliot, a light-skinned human who loves dressing up as a vampire, venture out to save the city. They soon find the problem. A giant pink baby lightguzzler is feeding on all the light, resulting in never-ending night. Surprisingly, Olivia’s baby brother, Carter, becomes key to dealing with the lightguzzler, and parents and friends assist in a lighthearted series of battles against the other monsters. The final pages of this graphic novel, translated from Spanish, hint at more conflicts to come. Easy-to-follow illustrations are rich with colorful but not too scary monsters. Each page contains one to four panels with minimal text per spread. The narrator’s comments, identified in yellow text boxes, aid story transitions, and though there’s a flashback at one point, it’s clearly indicated. Brief bios of the main characters preface the story—comics newbies will find this an accessible read.

A monstrously good time. (Graphic fiction. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2023

ISBN: 9788419253576

Page Count: 84

Publisher: NubeOcho

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2023

MARY POPPINS

Lovely and evocative, just the thing to spark an interest in the original and its sequels—and the upcoming film sequel, Mary...

Refined, spit-spot–tidy illustrations infuse a spare adaptation of the 1934 classic with proper senses of decorum and wonder.

Novesky leaves out much—the Bird Woman, Adm. Boom, that ethnically problematic world tour, even Mr. and Mrs. Banks—but there’s still plenty going on. Mary Poppins introduces Jane and Michael (their twin younger sibs are mentioned but seem to be left at home throughout) to the Match-Man and the buoyant Mr. Wigg, lets them watch Mrs. Corry and her daughters climb tall ladders to spangle the night sky with gilt stars, and takes them to meet the zoo animals (“Bird and beast, star and stone—we are all one,” says the philosophical bear). At last, when the wind changes, she leaves them with an “Au revoir!” (“Which means, Dear Reader, ‘to meet again.’ ”) Slender and correct, though with dangling forelocks that echo and suggest the sweeping curls of wind that bring her in and carry her away, Mary Poppins takes the role of impresario in Godbout’s theatrically composed scenes, bearing an enigmatic smile throughout but sharing with Jane and Michael (and even the parrot-headed umbrella) an expression of wide-eyed, alert interest as she shepherds them from one marvelous encounter to the next. The Corrys have brown skin; the rest of the cast presents white.

Lovely and evocative, just the thing to spark an interest in the original and its sequels—and the upcoming film sequel, Mary Poppins Returns, which opens in December 2018. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-328-91677-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

FIELD TRIP TO THE MOON

A close encounter of the best kind.

Left behind when the space bus departs, a child discovers that the moon isn’t as lifeless as it looks.

While the rest of the space-suited class follows the teacher like ducklings, one laggard carrying crayons and a sketchbook sits down to draw our home planet floating overhead, falls asleep, and wakes to see the bus zooming off. The bright yellow bus, the gaggle of playful field-trippers, and even the dull gray boulders strewn over the equally dull gray lunar surface have a rounded solidity suggestive of Plasticine models in Hare’s wordless but cinematic scenes…as do the rubbery, one-eyed, dull gray creatures (think: those stress-busting dolls with ears that pop out when squeezed) that emerge from the regolith. The mutual shock lasts but a moment before the lunarians eagerly grab the proffered crayons to brighten the bland gray setting with silly designs. The creatures dive into the dust when the bus swoops back down but pop up to exchange goodbye waves with the errant child, who turns out to be an olive-skinned kid with a mop of brown hair last seen drawing one of their new friends with the one crayon—gray, of course—left in the box. Body language is expressive enough in this debut outing to make a verbal narrative superfluous.

A close encounter of the best kind. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4253-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Margaret Ferguson/Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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