Quietly thoughtful and emotionally on-point

ANDREW THE SEEKER

From the Game for Adventure series

A wordless graphic offering conveys the fun and frustration of playing with friends.

In a bright, sunny room, white, carrot-topped Andrew draws a picture of his favorite three-horned purple monster. Suddenly, Andrew senses a presence at the window and discovers his purple friend peeking in at him. Quick as a flash, the young hero grabs his pith helmet and butterfly net, and the chase is on throughout an unthreatening, earth-toned forest. However, the violet creature continually manages to elude Andrew, and the boy’s frustration mounts until, in a moment of palpable vexation, he throws down his gear, ends the game, and storms off back home. After a good night of sleep and some time to ruminate, will Andrew take up the chase again, or will his emotions get the better of him? Nordling and Roberts’ take on childhood frustration is adroitly captured through big, clean, vibrant panels. The friendly-looking monster seems to enjoy the chase but doesn’t understand that he’s angering his friend. Andrew’s irritation at constantly being outwitted nearly vibrates off the pages, and watching his emotions cycle from angry back to calm should certainly resonate with younger readers. Andrew will appear in sequels featuring team games, though not as the main character.

Quietly thoughtful and emotionally on-point . (Graphic adventure. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5124-1330-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Graphic Universe

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

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Here’s hoping there will be a bunch of Baloney in the future.

BALONEY AND FRIENDS

From the Baloney & Friends series , Vol. 1

A new chapter-book series promises tons of fun for everyone.

Baloney the pig couldn’t be happier about starring in his very own book—until pals Peanut D. Horse, Bizz E. Bee, and Krabbit (a crabby rabbit) crash the introduction, leaving him frustrated. Baloney perseveres and goes on to star in several, short comic book–style stories that often break the fourth wall and that always rely on the very different personalities of the characters to deliver humor. Peanut is a Pollyanna and just a bit daffy. Bizz is a sensible, thoughtful bee-ing. Krabbit is so crabby he’d give Oscar the Grouch a run for his money. Baloney? Well, Baloney is a sensitive sort who, in two longer episodes, wants to entertain his friends with a magic show and join in their fun at swimming. Shorter “mini-comics” between these sections provide good breaks for new readers who are, perhaps, just starting to make their ways through a longer text like this. Pizolli saves the strongest story for last, delivering a sweet and satisfying portrait of Peanut’s kindness to her friend Baloney when he feels blue. And readers needn’t feel blue themselves that the story is over since they can follow handy backmatter instructions to draw their own versions of the simple, line-drawn characters.

Here’s hoping there will be a bunch of Baloney in the future. (Graphic fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-368-05454-6

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion/LBYR

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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A visual and emotional symphony.

TIGER VS. NIGHTMARE

A tiger, with some unusual help, fights off a nightmare.

Tiger’s parents don’t quite believe that the reason she carries extra curry or tacos from the supper table to her bedroom is because she has a monster under her bed, but it’s true. Monster was supposed to scare her long ago, but instead they play together nightly. Then, while Tiger sleeps, Monster scares away Tiger’s horned, multieyed, centipedelike nightmares—until a nightmare with a long-jawed white skull and a changeable, smoky body arrives. It conquers Monster and reaches Tiger. From now on, Tiger and Monster must work together. The plans they implement are brilliant and brave, and their hard-won victory (it takes a few tries) couldn’t be more triumphant, relieving, or empowering. Compositions range from full-bleed spreads to pages holding multiple sequential panels. Using watercolors and pencils, Tetri creates one color-world of inky blues (Monster; nighttime) and another of oranges and yellows (Tiger; daytime). The meanings of each color-world hold nuance and complexity: The nightmares are of the blue world, but so are coziness and small, dear Monster; Tiger’s victory explodes with warm colors like dawn, but she could only achieve it at night. Rich details enhance the setting inconspicuously: Tiger’s parents, also tigers, run a repair shop for flying cars; one parent is Dad while the other is of undesignated gender.

A visual and emotional symphony. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62672-535-5

Page Count: 64

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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