A transplanted city girl and her magical dog embark on whimsical forest adventures.
In this debut volume of a new graphic-novel series, readers meet plucky Aster, a white girl unhappy about her move to an isolated mountain town. Within this offering, there are two stories. In the aptly titled first tale, “Aster Makes Some Poorly Thought-Through Wishes,” Aster meets a mysterious old woman who gives her an adorable white dog with a poofy tail whom Aster names Buzz. Buzz and Aster happen upon a froglike creature (delightfully) called the Trickster Rapscallion who offers her three wishes. She quickly discovers (as if the name was not warning enough) that the trickster’s wishes are fraught and must find her way out of her own badly worded choices. In the next installment, entitled “Aster Gets a Magical Fox Exceedingly Upset,” she once again encounters and learns more about the old woman who gave her Buzz as well as her connection to an enchanted power-hungry fox. The French team of writer Pico and artist Karensac have crafted an accessible fantasy with recognizable elements of our world (such as video games), but they nicely focus the plot on nature and the outdoors, where the incredible is often adjacent to the mundane. Fans of the comics and Netflix show Hilda will see much common ground here and should easily gravitate toward the many similarities. All human characters are white.
An entertaining and lighthearted fantasy. (Graphic fantasy. 7-12)