A feel-good fantasy of flowering friendship.

A sprite nurtures both confidence and community as she embraces magic.

Sprites once looked after and nurtured all plant life. Once humans appeared in this corner of suburbia, taking on landscaping duties, the sprites stepped back, but they still revel in the glories of gardens. New to the neighborhood of Sylvan Trace, sprite Wisteria quickly gets an introduction to the best backyards. Although the sprite crew is welcoming, she can’t help but feel a little left out and decides to do some of her own exploring. Stumbling upon a notoriously poorly maintained garden on Meadowgreen Drive, Wisteria uses her magic to help it along, finding delight both in her work and in the child resident’s joy. In a sense, young human Elena—who meets Wisteria in the now flourishing garden—is new as well. She’s been trying her best to rescue the garden her overworked mom has neglected. Both sprite and gardener recognize that they’re better off working together. This gentle story is full of charm and is an affirming tale of teamwork, initiative, and determination. The detailed linework in combination with the retro color palette of pinks, oranges, purples, and greens create an expressive tone that supports the narrative. Wonderfully emotive faces charmingly convey character and lush surroundings, and interesting angles capture the awe of nature. The cast of sprites and humans displays a wide range of physical appearances.

A feel-good fantasy of flowering friendship. (design notes) (Graphic fantasy. 10-18)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-62010-906-9

Page Count: 88

Publisher: Oni Press

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021


A warm, sweet, lovely tale of a world readers will want to live in.

In a not-so-distant future where changing one’s physical features is as easy as purchasing nanobot mods, Sunati falls for Austen, a girl who always looks the same.

Since Austen never changes, Sunati admires what she assumes is her bravery and confidence. As Sunati and Austen chat more, Austen bluntly asks Sunati if she only wants to get to know her more because of her medical condition, which prevents her from using mods. As they gradually grow closer, Sunati learns how to interact more respectfully with those who have overactive immune systems as well as to share her feelings more honestly. Austen, in turn, learns to trust Sunati. This beautifully illustrated slice-of-life tale that shows two young women of color getting to know each other and creating a relationship is so warm and charming that readers will hardly notice how much they are learning about how to better interact with folx who are different from themselves and the importance of not making assumptions. The story also successfully weaves in agender, genderfluid, and asexual characters as well as the subjects of parenting and colorism into the natural arc of Sunati and Austen’s developing story. The soft, romantic artwork evokes hazy watercolors. The speech bubbles are predominantly pink and blue, and the varied layout will maintain readers’ interest.

A warm, sweet, lovely tale of a world readers will want to live in. (Graphic romance. 12-18)

Pub Date: May 19, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4998-1110-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: March 24, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020


An action-packed tale for those thirsty for more superhero stories.

Grammy Award–winning artist Keys co-authors a YA superhero graphic novel bearing the title of her hit song.

Smart, quiet 14-year-old Loretta “Lolo” Wright struggles to stand up for herself until, on what should be a routine trip to a convenience store, her 16-year-old brother, James, is mistakenly accused of stealing by the police. When the officer slams her brother to the ground, Lolo’s powers manifest for the first time. Meanwhile, Michael Warner, who lives in the same Brooklyn housing projects as the Wrights, is rejected from the football team for being too small. He develops exceptional fighting abilities and shortly afterward gets involved in working for a drug dealer named Skin. When Skin sees a video of Lolo levitating the cop who assaulted James, he wants to recruit her as well, and he tries to extort protection money from Lolo’s dad, who owns a moving business. Lolo must convince Michael to choose a different path; it’s only by working together that they can defeat Skin. Featuring dizzying shifts among multiple perspectives, this full-color graphic novel presents vibrant, expressive characters set against mostly simple, bright backgrounds, with extreme violence depicted in gory detail. The narrative briefly explores class issues and racial stereotypes, but while the setup is intriguing, the momentum fizzles and the pieces never quite come together. Most main characters are Black; Skin reads as White, and secondary characters appear racially diverse.

An action-packed tale for those thirsty for more superhero stories. (Graphic fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-302956-9

Page Count: 256

Publisher: HarperAlley

Review Posted Online: Feb. 8, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

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