OTIS AND RAE AND THE GRUMBLING SPLUNK by Laura Espinosa

OTIS AND RAE AND THE GRUMBLING SPLUNK

by and & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Otis and Rae camp out, tell scary stories and encounter a “real live” Grumbling Splunk in this first print project. The duo, respectively clad in blue and pink and sporting tight, eared hoods, undergo typically stock cartoon adventures: a big scare, a fall off a cliff (that leaves them virtually unscathed) and more. The text’s a mix of banal narration (“Otis explained his plan and they all agreed it was worth a try”) and clichéd dialogue (“Thank goodness, Rae! You’re still in one piece!”). Photoshopped mixed-media illustrations employ flat color—liberally doused with nocturnal shadows—and stylized, kodomo manga-influenced characters. The teeming layout combines full-bleed spreads, panels and word bubbles. Evidential of this project’s in-development status with a television-production company, many of the visual sequences show a character in multiples, to convey movement. There’s only one Splunk, for example, but young preschoolers and addled parents might miss that, seeing it replicated four times across one spread. This pastiche, though propelled by a talented artist, might best have gone straight to animation and associated merch. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 5th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-618-98206-6
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2008




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