Rainbow Bridge – written by Steve Orlando and Steve Foxe, art by Valentina Brancati

  Rainbow Bridge – written by Steve Orlando and Steve Foxe, art by Valentina Brancati; colors by Manuel Puppo, letters by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, logo & book design by Charles Pritchett, edited by Mike Marts; Seismic Press, an Imprint of AfterShock, 2021. 9781949028676

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Format: Paperback graphic novel

Genre: Fantasy

What did you like about the book? Andy and Rocket have been best friends for 14 years when Rocket dies; Andy is totally miserable.  He feels that he failed Rocket by not going to the vet with his parents for Rocket to get the fatal shot.  As he weeps under a tree he finds himself transported over the Rainbow Bridge where animals go when they die.  His first contact is Ms. Pawdrey Hepburn who used to be his family’s cat.  She informs Andy that animals must accept what has happened to them or they will not be able to enter the Forever Fields but will remain stuck in-between as a wraith.  Andy learns that it is Rocket who has unfinished business that is keeping him from moving on.  The unfinished business concerns Rocket’s sister who was left behind when he was adopted.  Rocket MUST find out what happened to her.

Illustrations are bright and alive, printed on shiny paper.  Brancati is amazing with facial expressions and postures. The story could almost be wordless with all she manages to convey.  Some illustrations are full-page and others are three-four splits displayed in a variety of arrangements.  She captures Rocket’s and Andy’s exuberance, despair, and love with equal skill.

Anything you did not like about the book?  No.

To whom would you recommend this book? Recommend this one to animal lovers, particularly if they have just lost a beloved pet.  The story and the illustrations should also appeal to those who not only like animals but also graphic novels.

Who should buy this book? Public and elementary and middle school libraries, anyone who has ever loved a dog, cat or any other animal.

Where would you shelve it? Graphic novels

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  Not necessarily but a good choice to recommend to kids who like animals, fantasy and graphic novels.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Retired Librarian, Editor, Youth Services Book Review

Date of Review: August 11, 2021

This entry was posted in *Book Review, *Starred Review, *Young Adult, Animal fiction, Death, Dogs, Fantasy, Graphic novel, Steve Foxe, Steve Orlando, Valentina Brancati and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.