Knee-slappers galore for fans of alimentary and other mildly transgressive gags.

READ REVIEW

SIMONE: THE BEST MONSTER EVER!

She’s blonde, she’s pink, she’s human—and so, as the “monster” living in sluglike Morris’ closet, she’s terrifying.

In a series of independent, single-page comics originally published in French, Simard takes the well-worn monster-under-the-bed trope, turns it on its head, and adds all sorts of ooky bits. Simone can make her bug-eyed green companion—and everyone else in Simard’s simply drawn, topsy-turvy monster world—run away screaming just by bringing a cute puppy to class or cleaning house. On the other hand, she casually brushes past bats and dangling spiders and seems less grossed-out (read: delighted) than readers will be to see Morris swimming in the gooey effluent of a giant nose, watching him roll snowballs down a hill to play “zombie bowling,” or being introduced to his little brother, Farto. The emotional undercurrents are definitely less nuanced here than in, for instance, Barbara Jean Hicks’ Jitterbug Jam, illustrated by Alexis Deacon (2005), but so what, when there are zombies, a Santa-eating house, buckets of puke, and many like delicacies to savor?

Knee-slappers galore for fans of alimentary and other mildly transgressive gags. (Graphic fantasy. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 15, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-77147-293-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Owlkids Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2017

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A welcome addition to shelves of graphic novels for new readers

PEACE AND QUIET

From the Mr. Badger and Mrs. Fox series , Vol. 4

A blended family of badgers and foxes make the best of close quarters in this wintertime story.

Mr. Badger and his three kits, Bristle, Berry and Grub, along with Mrs. Fox and her pup, Ginger, are hunkering down for a long winter together in this early-reader book that makes great use of comic conventions. Panel illustrations show the family gathering materials to make their shared den nice and cozy, while also discussing their differing wintertime behaviors: The badgers don’t hibernate, but they do sleep an awful lot to preserve their energy, and they rely on fat reserves to stay warm throughout the season, while the foxes grow thick winter coats and plan to hunt in the snowy forest. At first, the little ones have a hard time understanding these differences, and a dose of cabin fever makes the living situation rather fraught. Happily, the parents step in to ease tensions and to help their children make the most of the season and of their relationships with one another. Speech balloons, endearing illustrations of the characters, well-paced panels and lots of action from scene to scene will keep young readers invested in this story, particularly if they are already familiar with the previous titles in the series.

A welcome addition to shelves of graphic novels for new readers . (Graphic animal fantasy. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8225-9163-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Graphic Universe

Review Posted Online: July 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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The tiny-type narrative text is hard to make out, but fans of Trondheim’s previous graphic tales will be used to his format.

MONSTER TURKEY

From the Monster series , Vol. 4

Thanks to a flow of toxic waste that turns farm animals into monsters, a family’s rural vacation takes several exciting, if wildly arbitrary turns.

In their fourth outing, Petey, Jean, their parents and their own household monster Kriss arrive as guests at a farm that seems deserted at first but soon coughs up a giant bunny, a T. Rex–sized turkey and other toothy, red-eyed horrors. Joined by the friendly local farmer, himself turned into a sasquatch with mismatched eyes, the family tracks a suspicious pipeline to a factory where the monsters turn out to be a (wait for it) tomato researcher’s experimental subjects. In Trondheim’s small, unbordered cartoon scenes, the lumpy monsters (except for Kriss, who resembles a multilimbed turquoise Barbapapa) look properly menacing. In the end, after much chasing about, they turn out to be not such bad sorts—and though some monsters die in gruesome ways, the overall effect is more comical than disturbing or scary.

The tiny-type narrative text is hard to make out, but fans of Trondheim’s previous graphic tales will be used to his format. (Graphic fiction. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-59707-349-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Papercutz

Review Posted Online: Sept. 12, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2012

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