Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Read, Read, Read, said the Baby: I'm Grumpy; I'm Sunny by Jennifer L. and Matthew Holm

Jennifer and Matthew Holm, sibling creators of the popular Babymouse graphic novel series, have ventured into board book territory with My First Comics.

Grumpy Cloud features, of course, a grumpy cloud. Why is it so grumpy? A series of wordless panels show grumpy cloud getting snagged on a mountain, dropping an ice cream cone, etc. When Grumpy runs into Sunny, it tries to cheer up the cloud without success. In fact, Grumpy gets mad and turns into a thunderstorm! Now he feels bad - but he finds a way to make it up to Sunny.

Sunny Cloud features, of course, Sunny! What makes Sunny happy? It has found a balloon, a bright red one. When Tizzy the Tornado shows up and wants to share the balloon, will Sunny let her take a turn?

Each page has simple comic panels with broad, black borders. Some are full page, some are smaller, and all have simple, bold art. There are a few word bubbles, comic sound effects like "zoom!" and "kaboom!" and different-colored fonts. The art is bold and simple with primary colors and simple comic devices, like a black squiggle to show Tizzy's anger and simple but expressive faces. The books are sturdy squares, well-suited to small children.

Verdict: These are quirky and unique but just right for young children who can pick out the details of animals and flowers and preschoolers who will enjoy the simple storyline. Whether or not kids have the visual development to follow the simple panels, they can enjoy the light-hearted story and art.

I'm Grumpy
ISBN: 9780553533446
I'm Sunny
ISBN: 9780553533460

Published 2016 by Random House; Purchased for the library

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