Ultimately, humor rules the day as Putuguq and Kublu’s grandfather tricks them into being safe when they play near the water.

PUTUGUQ & KUBLU AND THE QALUPALIK

From the Putuguq & Kublu series

A pair of young siblings from Arviq Bay in northern Canada learn about an Inuit bogeyman.

This easy-to-read graphic novel, set in the snowy Arctic tundra, tells the story of an imaginative brother named Putuguq who wants nothing more than to tag along with his older sister, Kublu, when she heads out to the shoreline to meet a friend. A contemporary rendition of an age-old myth, the story depicts their grandfather coming home from the hunt with a seal pulled behind his snowmobile. He tells them to beware the qalupalik, a sea monster with long fingernails, slimy skin, and locks of hair dripping down its back. Frightened by his cautionary tale, the siblings approach the water’s edge, where they find their friend’s backpack abandoned on the ice and receive the scare of their lives. While the siblings are given distinctive personality traits, their wry dialogue may strike readers as formal (“Brother, you are a strange one”), especially for characters who should be around 5 and 6. Simple block panels and emojilike illustrations also detract from their appeal, though the depictions of the imagined qalupalik and the Tuniq hunter Putuguq pretends to be are stunning in their monochromatic purple shades. The layout of their village is mapped in the opening pages—the careful inclusion of raised, wood-frame buildings with no igloo in sight adds to the educational value of the story.

Ultimately, humor rules the day as Putuguq and Kublu’s grandfather tricks them into being safe when they play near the water. (Graphic fiction. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-77227-228-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Inhabit Media

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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Fast and furious action guaranteed to keep new readers laughing and turning pages.

FROG AND BALL

From the I Like To Read Comics series

Never underestimate the chaotic fun that magic and an angry bouncing ball can create.

When Frog goes to the library, he borrows a book on magic. He then heads to a nearby park to read up on the skills necessary to becoming “a great magician.” Suddenly, a deflated yellow ball lands with a “Thud!” at his feet. Although he flexes his new magician muscles, Frog’s spells fall as flat as the ball. But when Frog shouts “Phooey!” and kicks the ball away, it inflates to become a big, angry ball. The ball begins to chase Frog, so he seeks shelter in the library—and Frog and ball turn the library’s usual calm into chaos. The cartoon chase crescendos. The ball bounces into the middle of a game of chess, interrupts a puppet show, and crashes into walls and bookcases. Staying just one bounce ahead, Frog runs, hides, grabs a ride on a book cart, and scatters books and papers as he slides across the library furniture before an alligator patron catches the ball and kicks it out the library door. But that’s not the end of the ball….Caple’s tidy panels and pastel-hued cartoons make a surprisingly effective setting for the slapstick, which should have young readers giggling. Simple sentences—often just subject and verb—with lots of repetition propel the action. Frog’s nonsense-word spells (“Poof Wiffle, Bop Bip!”) are both funny and excellent practice in phonetics. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Fast and furious action guaranteed to keep new readers laughing and turning pages. (Graphic early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 10, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4341-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2021

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OTTO’S ORANGE DAY

Young Otto loves orange so much that when a sly genie rises up out of an old lamp he receives from Aunt Sally Lee, he uses his one wish to turn all the world that color. His ensuing bliss changes to blues, though, after he gets a gander at his orange lunch and then sees what happens on the street when every traffic light is the same color. Cammuso illustrates comics veteran Lynch’s tale in neatly drawn sequential panels, casting Otto as a cat (marmalade, of course) in human dress and pairing him with a blue, distinctly Disneyesque genie. Discovering that said genie hasn’t eaten in 880 years, Otto cleverly calls on the persuasive power of pizza to reverse the wish, and by the end all’s well. Low on violence and high on production values, this comics-format “Toon Book” will leave emergent readers wishing for more. (Early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: June 9, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-9799238-2-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: RAW Junior/TOON Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2008

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