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

READ REVIEW

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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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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Another outing positively radiant with child appeal, featuring a pair of close siblings with complementary personalities.

BENNY AND PENNY IN LIGHTS OUT

From the Benny and Penny series

It’s bedtime for the mouseling brother and sister—but not before plenty of horsing around and a deliciously scary expedition into the backyard.

As little Penny quietly tries to wash up and pretend-read a story (“One day the princess was sent to her room for being bratty. But she had a secret door…”), her restless big brother interrupts obnoxiously with warnings about the Boogey Mouse, loud belches and other distractions. When Benny realizes that he’s left his prized pirate hat in the backyard, though, Penny braves the Boogey Mouse to follow him out of the window and prod him into reclaiming it from the spooky, dark playhouse. She also “reads” him to sleep after the two race, giggling at their fright, back indoors. Framed in sequential panels that occasionally expand to full-page or double-spread scenes, the art features a pair of big-eared, bright-eyed mites (plus the occasional fictive dinosaur) in cozy domestic settings atmospherically illuminated by the glow of lamps, Benny’s flashlight and the moon. As in this popular series’ earlier episodes, dialogue in unobtrusive balloons furnishes the only text, but the action is easy to follow, and Hayes provides plenty of finely drawn visual cues to the characters’ feelings.

Another outing positively radiant with child appeal, featuring a pair of close siblings with complementary personalities. (Graphic early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-935179-20-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: TOON/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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