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From the Aster series, volume 2

by Thom Pico & Karensac ; translated by Anne Smith & Owen Smith ; illustrated by Karensac

Pub Date: March 2nd, 2021
ISBN: 978-0-593-12534-2
Publisher: Random House Graphic

More magical al fresco adventures abound!

In this full-color follow-up to Aster and the Accidental Magic (2020), Aster and her talking dog, Buzz, return in two new tales. In the first, “Why So Much Wool?” strange accidents repeatedly occur around Aster’s village, and upon investigation, she and Buzz discover a rogue band of muttonheaded sheep (known as the BAAAAAH-ligerent Army) led by a talking ram named Keras, who has proclaimed himself the Great Leader of the Sheep Revolution. Lucky for Aster, the dimwitted sheep are easily outsmarted, but not Keras, whom she must stop before he destroys her home. The second tale, “The End of Everything (and What Was Left),” focuses more on the natural magic from the previous volume. Each season has a royal who helps preserve the balance, passing along a crown to mark the transitions between their reigns. When the crown disappears, Aster ventures to the Labyrinth of Chimeras in an attempt to reforge it and restore the balance before the trickster Rapscallion can escape. This second outing pulls readers into a delightfully wrought world with a strong emphasis on nature and the outdoors and the real and imaginary magic contained therein. Joyous, effervescent illustrations mark this French import. For Aster aficionados, further journeys are hinted at in a subsequent volume in which Aster and her family travel to Japan. Aster and most human characters read as White.

Imaginative, feel-good fun.

(Graphic fantasy. 8-12)