Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
Genre: Fantasy/graphic novel/early reader
What did you like about the book? A realistic hectic playground scene becomes a flight of fantasy as bushes become birds, a stuffed doll comes to life and the little girl and her sand pail man get eaten by a sand dragon. More adventures ensue, with menacing adult fairy tale creatures and animated food. Adele makes it back by crawling out of a sand tunnel from Dessert Island back up to the playground to her mama. Detailed cartoons in ink and watercolors show a lot of action and movement, emphasized by the horizontal orientation of the book and the variations in cel size. Ponti’s absurdist illustrations have such detail and whimsy that this kids could spend a long time contemplating.
Anything you didn’t like about it? Some of the adult creatures seemed a bit alarmingly menacing to me, though this is my sensibility and may not bother a child. Ponti could have added more diversity into the multitudes at the playground.
To whom would you recommend this book? New readers who enjoy the Toon series and kids who are drawn to edgy graphic novels will like this.
Who should buy this book? Public libraries
Where would you shelve it ? Easy readers/graphic novels
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA
Date of review April 17, 2017