Total catnip for this feline’s fans.

CATWOMAN

SOULSTEALER

An iconic character morphs from panels to prose and back to panels.

Based on the 2018 Maas novel of the same name, Simonson’s graphic adaptation faithfully follows its predecessor, introducing readers to Selina Kyle, a gifted student and gymnast who has an abusive mother and a younger sister, Maggie, who has cystic fibrosis. Selina turns to a life of crime with the League of Assassins in order to pay the astronomical bills for Maggie’s medical treatments. When Selina arrives in Gotham City (disguised as socialite Holly Vanderhees) she meets wealthy and enigmatic neighbor Luke Fox. Both Luke and Selina harbor secret alter egos, but their chemistry—both with masks and without—is palpable. When Maggie’s condition takes a turn, Selina launches her own dangerous scheme to save her, bumping elbows with recognizable characters such as Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, and the Joker. Dodge’s shadowy black-and-white art, accentuated with well-placed bursts of color, perfectly captures the tenor of crime-laden Gotham. Simonson’s reimagining switches points of view from Selina to Luke, clueing its audience in by speech bubble colors. With the popularity of high-octane franchises like the DC Extended Universe and Marvel Cinematic Universe, this should have wide appeal based on name recognition alone, even if this offering feels somewhat diluted. Most characters, including Selina, appear White; Luke reads as Black, and Harley and Poison Ivy have a romantic relationship.

Total catnip for this feline’s fans. (Graphic adventure. 12-18)

Pub Date: June 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4012-9641-4

Page Count: 208

Publisher: DC

Review Posted Online: June 2, 2021

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A tender blend of sugary, buttery, and other complex flavors that’s baked with a tremendous dash of heart.

BLOOM

Summer love rises between two boys in a bakery.

High school may have ended, but Ari is stuck with sourdough starter at his family’s bakery instead of summer gigs in the city with his band. As his family’s money grows tighter, Ari feels tethered in place. His friends start to drift toward their own futures. But the future of their band—and their friendship—drifts toward uncertainty. Under the guise of recruiting another baker to take his place, Ari hires Hector. A culinary student in Birmingham, Hector has temporarily returned home to find closure after his Nana’s passing. The two grow close in more than just the kitchen. Ari, who hates baking, even starts to enjoy himself. But will it all last? Panetta and Ganucheau’s graphic novel debut is as much a love story between people as it is with the act of baking. Ganucheau’s art, in black ink with varying shades of blue, mixes traditional paneling with beautiful double-page spreads of detailed baking scenes, where the panels sometimes take on the shape of braided loaves. The romance between Ari and Hector builds slowly, focusing on cute interactions long before progressing to anything physical. Ari and his family are Greek. Family recipes referenced in the text code Hector as Samoan. Delicious.

A tender blend of sugary, buttery, and other complex flavors that’s baked with a tremendous dash of heart. (recipe, production art) (Graphic novel. 13-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-62672-641-3

Page Count: 368

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: Nov. 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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Even so, this remains Macbeth, arguably the Bard of Avon’s most durable and multilayered tragedy, and overall, this enhanced...

MACBETH

From the Wordplay Shakespeare series

A pairing of the text of the Scottish Play with a filmed performance, designed with the Shakespeare novice in mind.

The left side of the screen of this enhanced e-book contains a full version of Macbeth, while the right side includes a performance of the dialogue shown (approximately 20 lines’ worth per page). This granular focus allows newcomers to experience the nuances of the play, which is rich in irony, hidden intentions and sudden shifts in emotional temperature. The set and costuming are deliberately simple: The background is white, and Macbeth’s “armor” is a leather jacket. But nobody’s dumbing down their performances. Francesca Faridany is particularly good as a tightly coiled Lady Macbeth; Raphael Nash-Thompson gives his roles as the drunken porter and a witch a garrulousness that carries an entertainingly sinister edge. The presentation is not without its hiccups. Matching the video on the right with the text on the left means routinely cutting off dramatic moments; at one point, users have to swipe to see and read the second half of a scene’s closing couplet—presumably an easy fix. A “tap to translate” button on each page puts the text into plain English, but the pop-up text covers up Shakespeare’s original, denying any attempts at comparison; moreover, the translation mainly redefines more obscure words, suggesting that smaller pop-ups for individual terms might be more meaningful.

Even so, this remains Macbeth, arguably the Bard of Avon’s most durable and multilayered tragedy, and overall, this enhanced e-book makes the play appealing and graspable to students . (Enhanced e-book. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 9, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: The New Book Press LLC

Review Posted Online: Nov. 7, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2013

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