Patrick Gall

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Review of The Adventures of Robo-Kid

The Adventures of Robo-Kid by Diane deGroat; illus. by the authorPrimary    Porter/Holiday    32 pp.    g6/22    978-0-8234-4976-7    $18.99DeGroat gently subverts conventional storytelling and notions of heroism throughout this playful work of picture-book metafiction. The action begins on the title page when young Henry plops down next to his dog to read...

Review of The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza

The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza by Mac Barnett; illus. by Shawn HarrisPrimary, Intermediate    Tegen/HarperCollins    320 pp.   g5/22    978-0-06-308408-7    $15.99e-book ed.  978-0-06-308410-0    $10.99What began as an online storytelling experiment between Barnett and Harris during COVID-19 has been adapted into a graphic novel. This wacky space opera follows a...

Review of The Well

The Well by Jake Wyatt; illus. by ChooMiddle School, High School    First Second    176 pp.   g5/22    978-1-250-81652-8    $24.99Paper ed.  978-1-626-72414-3    $17.99e-book ed.  978-1-250-87842-7    $11.99This post-apocalyptic, archipelago-set graphic novel teems with atmosphere and angst, in addition to gutsy witches, mysterious curses, and horrifying monsters. Teenage ­Li-Zhen, or Lizzy, is a...

Review of Somewhere in the Bayou

Somewhere in the Bayou by Jarrett Pumphrey and Jerome Pumphrey; illus. by the authorsPreschool, Primary    Norton    56 pp.    g3/22    978-1-324-01593-2    $17.95The Pumphrey brothers employ understated storytelling, wry humor, and skillful cartooning throughout this entertaining original fable. The premise is simple. Four bayou critters (an opossum, a squirrel, a rabbit, and...

Review of Little Monarchs

Little Monarchs by Jonathan Case; illus. by the authorIntermediate, Middle School    Ferguson/Holiday    256 pp.  g4/22    978-0-8234-4260-7    $22.99Paper ed.  978-0-8234-5139-5    $14.99e-book ed.  978-0-8234-5281-1    $11.99Spectacular cartooning, meticulous world-building, and an arresting post-apocalyptic premise form the foundation of this exceptional graphic novel. Set in the summer of 2101, the story follows ten-year-old Elvie...

Review of A Gift for Nana

A Gift for Nana by Lane Smith; illus. by the author; design by Molly LeachPrimary    Random House Studio    40 pp.    g5/22    978-0-593-43033-0    $18.99Library ed.  978-0-593-43034-7    $21.99e-book ed.  978-0-593-43035-4    $10.99This tenderhearted adventure follows young Rabbit through a series of fanciful encounters in search of the “perfect gift” for his grandmother. Rabbit...

Review of Jack Knight’s Brave Flight: How One Gutsy Pilot Saved the U.S. Air Mail Service

Jack Knight’s Brave Flight: How One Gutsy Pilot Saved the U.S. Air Mail Service by Jill Esbaum; illus. by Stacy InnerstPrimary    Calkins/Astra    40 pp.    g3/22    978-1-68437-981-1    $18.99e-book ed.  978-1-63592-567-8    $11.99In 1921, a perilous coast-to-coast airplane relay pushed a handful of pilots to their limits. If successful, the publicity stunt would...

Review of Tiny Cedric

Tiny Cedric by Sally Lloyd-Jones; illus. by Rowboat WatkinsPrimary    Schwartz/Random    40 pp.    g2/22    978-1-5247-7072-3    $17.99Library ed.  978-1-5247-7073-0    $20.99Over-the-top writing meets equally over-the-top illustrations in this tongue-in-cheek tale featuring “the tiniest king…Cedric, King ME the First” (a possible relative of Lloyd-Jones’s His Royal Highness, King Baby, rev. 11/17). From his absurd...

Review of Anzu the Great Kaiju

Anzu the Great Kaiju by Benson Shum; illus. by the authorPrimary    Roaring Brook    40 pp.    g1/22    978-1-250-77612-9    $18.99e-book ed.  978-1-250-86822-0    $10.99Anzu is a Godzilla-like kaiju from a fearsome family of lightning-summoning, mountain-tossing monsters. Being a kaiju, Anzu wants to make his family proud, but there is a problem: his superpower...

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