Eye-popping adventure served up with lessons in opposites and conflict resolution.
This colorful, sturdy board book delivers a simple yet surprisingly satisfying narrative via minimal but powerful text and dynamic comic-book graphics. Riffing on the eternal, archetypal struggle of good versus evil, author Fuller presents a series of paired opposite words or phrases in a sequence that suggests an uncomplicated but exciting storyline, complete with surprise denouement. The titular hero is a powerful, confident girl of color garbed in the obligatory heroic mask and cape; her opponent is a wild crocodilian creature with long jaws, big teeth, a large, popping eyeball, and a diabolical-looking top hat. The narrative is advanced in two-page set pieces, usually with opposing ideas on facing pages: “hero / villain // smile / frown // up in the air / down in the lair,” and so on. Artist Meyer’s wildly bright colors and strong, playful images lend thrills and narrative continuity to the storyline. In panels in which the villain is looking most villainous, his nemesis is usually rendered slightly larger and more at ease and in control, which keeps things exciting but never frightening. When the hero’s constructive labors are wrecked (“build / destroy”), each blames the other (“truth / lie”), but the conciliatory powers of a well-timed cupcake turn enemies into friends.
Positive, engaging, and, most of all, fun; an outstanding introduction to derring-do. (Board book. 18 mos-4)