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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This tater trio, and worm, will keep readers laughing, singing, and cheering from the first page to the last.

THE GREATEST IN THE WORLD!

From the Tater Tales series , Vol. 1

One grumbly day, two mutant tater brothers vie to determine who is the greatest in the world.

It’s goofy-looking Rot Poe Tater, with an awesome unibrow and “surprisingly sturdy stick legs,” versus big brother Snot, a sleepy, upset couch potato with bedhead. Tot, their “usually super chipper” little sister, acts as the judge. The first challenge, a potato sack race with shades of “The Tortoise and the Hare,” ends in a tie. The second contest is Hot Potato Hill, where the brothers must roll down a hill after Tot. No one wins, and the third contest is a laugh-off. Rot declares he’s laughing so hard that he needs to pee his pants but then remembers he doesn’t wear pants. When Rot and Snot are laughed out, Tot is still giggling. That’s when the plot twists and twists again. The text, primarily boastful speech-bubble banter between Rot and Snot, also contains songs, cheers from an enthusiastic worm, and fun wordplay, including alliterative places names like Barrel Bottom Bog and the Moldy Mounds. Text in a smaller typeface alternates with graphic panels, keeping the action moving. Expressive potato faces make the action and emotions clear. Fans of the picture book Rot: The Cutest in the World (2016) will enjoy seeing the protagonist again; Clanton relies on the same simple yet expressive cartoon illustrations and humor.

This tater trio, and worm, will keep readers laughing, singing, and cheering from the first page to the last. (pictures of other taters who have excelled in the Hot Potato Hill challenge, facts about potatoes, lesson on how to draw Rot) (Graphic novel. 5-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 8, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5344-9318-6

Page Count: 88

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2022

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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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