Scorpio is throwing a Halloween party, but Libra gets so fussed about what to wear that she decides not to go.
The creators of Astro Baby (2019) kick off a more-extended trip around the zodiac with a cast that exaggeratedly embodies each sign’s supposed characteristics. Writing at rather than for children in a mix of laborious explanations and wooden dialogue, Tea pushes her narrator past an introduction (“I like to keep things balanced and equal to harmonize the vibes”) and then into a tizzy when Scorpio crawls up with an invitation. What costume to wear? Cinderella? “But then I’d have to marry a prince or something.” How about Coco Chanel? “I don’t even speak French!” Finally fellow air signs Aquarius and Gemini transform Libra into a “French fairy mermaid princess who just won the gold medal in the Olympics!” Now Libra needs no help deciding that it’s the “best Halloween party ever!” Perry’s illustrations, most of which are dizzy tangles of unfilled, autumnal-orange line drawings, are printed, like the hand-lettered narrative, on starry black backdrops. Between Scorpio’s long, segmented body and dripping fangs and Libra, who looks like a diapered adult with scales for ears, the effect is more than a little weird. Scorpio in Berry Intense publishes simultaneously, and signs point to 10 further sequels on the way.
Weighed in the balance, found wanting. (Picture book. 8-12)