The tiny-type narrative text is hard to make out, but fans of Trondheim’s previous graphic tales will be used to his format.

MONSTER TURKEY

From the Monster series , Vol. 4

Thanks to a flow of toxic waste that turns farm animals into monsters, a family’s rural vacation takes several exciting, if wildly arbitrary turns.

In their fourth outing, Petey, Jean, their parents and their own household monster Kriss arrive as guests at a farm that seems deserted at first but soon coughs up a giant bunny, a T. Rex–sized turkey and other toothy, red-eyed horrors. Joined by the friendly local farmer, himself turned into a sasquatch with mismatched eyes, the family tracks a suspicious pipeline to a factory where the monsters turn out to be a (wait for it) tomato researcher’s experimental subjects. In Trondheim’s small, unbordered cartoon scenes, the lumpy monsters (except for Kriss, who resembles a multilimbed turquoise Barbapapa) look properly menacing. In the end, after much chasing about, they turn out to be not such bad sorts—and though some monsters die in gruesome ways, the overall effect is more comical than disturbing or scary.

The tiny-type narrative text is hard to make out, but fans of Trondheim’s previous graphic tales will be used to his format. (Graphic fiction. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-59707-349-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Papercutz

Review Posted Online: Sept. 12, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2012

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An amusing, high-energy outing that teaches an important nature lesson.

OUT IN THE WILD!

A GRAPHIX CHAPTERS BOOK

From the Bug Scouts series , Vol. 1

A quartet of anthropomorphic invertebrates attempt to earn scout badges in the great outdoors.

Lowery kicks off his graphic early chapter book series with a scout’s oath: “All bugs are awesome / and that is a fact. / Raise your leg or antenna / and let’s make a pact.” Four “bug scouts” (two of whom are technically not bugs) introduce themselves; Josh the spider joins Abby the earthworm and Doug (“some kind of bug”) in welcoming Luna the firefly to their troop. The group sets out on a nature walk in order to find an edible plant, and a series of outdoorsy teaching moments culminates in a narrow escape from a (seemingly!) friendly frog: “Come back! I want to eat you! I mean…meet you!” Along with lots of silly jokes and banter and plenty of frantic action, the book delivers a cogent warning about the hazards of eating or sometimes even touching anything unidentified in nature. However, Lowery uses the words toadstool—a term typically reserved for any type of mushroom that is poisonous and thus inedible—and mushroom interchangeably, which may prejudice impressionable young readers against the edible type. Furthermore, some of the natural history presented in the text is a bit dubious. The very simply drawn cartoon art and big lettering make this book appropriate and appealing for beginner and newly independent readers.

An amusing, high-energy outing that teaches an important nature lesson. (Graphic early chapter book. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 5, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-338-72633-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2022

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A welcome addition to shelves of graphic novels for new readers

PEACE AND QUIET

From the Mr. Badger and Mrs. Fox series , Vol. 4

A blended family of badgers and foxes make the best of close quarters in this wintertime story.

Mr. Badger and his three kits, Bristle, Berry and Grub, along with Mrs. Fox and her pup, Ginger, are hunkering down for a long winter together in this early-reader book that makes great use of comic conventions. Panel illustrations show the family gathering materials to make their shared den nice and cozy, while also discussing their differing wintertime behaviors: The badgers don’t hibernate, but they do sleep an awful lot to preserve their energy, and they rely on fat reserves to stay warm throughout the season, while the foxes grow thick winter coats and plan to hunt in the snowy forest. At first, the little ones have a hard time understanding these differences, and a dose of cabin fever makes the living situation rather fraught. Happily, the parents step in to ease tensions and to help their children make the most of the season and of their relationships with one another. Speech balloons, endearing illustrations of the characters, well-paced panels and lots of action from scene to scene will keep young readers invested in this story, particularly if they are already familiar with the previous titles in the series.

A welcome addition to shelves of graphic novels for new readers . (Graphic animal fantasy. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8225-9163-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Graphic Universe

Review Posted Online: July 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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