Picture Book Reviews!

Wildflowers: A Toon Book by Liniers. (Toon Level Two). Toon Books, 2021. 9781943145539.

Inspired by his three daughters looking at the Mexican jungle (there’s a charming photo of them doing this in the back of the book), this early reader graphic novel is about three girls trapped on a mysterious island after a plane crash. As they start to explore the jungle, they come across exotic wildflowers, a tiny animal, and another that’s big and growly. If you’ve never read any of Liniers’ comics before, do yourself a favor and pick this one up: it’s silly, a little scary, and has a lot of heart.

The Airport Book by Lisa Brown. Roaring Brook Press, 2016. 9781626720916.

Brown’s book starts with a family packing and then leaving for a trip. Her elegant drawings make everything look at least a little fun, from traffic to standing in lines to airport security. Every two-page spread is full of amazing people leaving on journeys and doing their jobs, and the word balloons make it all work. I’m going to read this before my trip this weekend — I’m a nervous flier (when I’m not terrified), and I think this will help.

Cton’s Super A-Maze-Ing Year Of Crazy Comics! Puzzles, Mazes, Blobs, & More by Clayton Hanmer. Owlkids, 2008. 9782895792093.

I’ve had this book for years, and I love looking at it. It’s happy and weird and pretty funny, and has pages where I can get lost in the details, like “Billy’s Spooky Halloween Adventure (which is at the beginning). Learn to draw Blob, and his hillbilly cousin Blab! Then move on to winter: Blob skis, Cton shows off his snowboard, and weird winter myths are explained. There are comics mazes and more illustrations of Cton’s friends, and Cton even shows how to plant a tree. Throughout it encourages and inspires creativity, and ends with tips on making comics. (And there are answers to the puzzles in the book.)

Worth noting: All of the activities in the book can be completed without drawing in the book itself. Use a finger on the mazes!



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