From the Publisher
Publishers Weekly starred review, April 28, 2014:
“The orange two-color artwork lets the artists’ distinctive styles shine; readers can only hope more such collaborations are on the way.”
Kirkus starred review, June 1, 2014:
More fun than the playground at recess!
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, September 2014:
A terrific introduction to the styles of [the] individual creators, inviting [graphic novel] newbies to wander through in search of a series that hits their own comic sweet spot.
Children's Literature - Leona Illig
Consisting of eight different cartoon stories by different authors, this collection aims to elicit laughs from young readers who are developing their sense of humor. In the “Super Secret Ninja Club,” Daryl has two weeks to learn ninja skills in order to join an exclusive club. Dog Man in another story has to save mankind from Petey the Cat, who is destroying books so that the world will get dumber and he will be the only smart one left. The other stories are mostly similar, short, and, sadly, forgettable. By far, the funniest and only standout story is “Jiminy Sprinkles in Freeze Tag,” written by Eric Wight. Jiminy, the new kid in class, is a cupcake with super powers and wants to make friends with the Mean Green Gang, led by Russell from Brussels. The originality and humor in this story almost make up for the lack of imagination in the rest of the book. There are some odd editing choices: an advertisement for Babymouse binoculars is placed not after the story about Babymouse, but on a different page altogether; and a page on how to draw Betty, another one of the characters, is placed not near her story but at the end of the book. The theme of all the stories is supposed to be what happens (or doesn’t) during recess, but the connections between the stories and the theme are often tenuous. All of the comics are colored in shades of black and orange, which make one wonder if a Halloween theme was originally intended. Reviewer: Leona Illig; Ages 5 to 10.
School Library Journal
Gr 2–5—An all-star lineup of graphic novel notables contributes original works to this anthology, sharing the common thread of recess. Holm's Babymouse and Jarrett Krosoczka's Betty characters make appearances in their own vignettes, presented in orange-tinted, two-color palettes, while other characters, such as Eric Wight's Jiminy Sprinkles and Vernon's Scratch and Squeak, make their debut. A wide range of writing styles is featured, from Yang's 18 disciplines of the ninja to Dav Pilkey's tale of George and Harold's invented spelling in their "Tree House Comix," and in each entry, the storytelling is strong and the art reflects each cartoonist's unique style. Two stories that particularly stand out are "300 Words" by Dan Santat and "The Rainy Day Monitor" by Raina Telgemeier and Dave Roman. In Santat's tale, two boys forget to complete a 300-word assignment on Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree. Having only recess to complete the task, one painstakingly counts his words to meet the required quota in a scene that will elicit audible giggles. The other boy attempts to ask a female classmate if he could copy from her paper, all the while recalling a stomach-turning mishap with said female during the school play. The result is a touching and sweet story that will stick with readers. Telgemeier and Roman's story involves a tabletop game of kickball so fun that kids stuck indoors for recess may be quick to follow suit. This anthology will serve children well as an introduction to a variety of comic-creating talents.—Matthew C. Winner, Ducketts Lane Elementary School, Elkridge, MD
Babymouse and Lunch Lady are among a few familiar faces (along with plenty of new ones) in this very funny collection of eight comics shorts from the Holms, Krosoczka, Gene Luen Yang, Raina Telgemeier, Dave Roman, Ursula Vernon, and more. The stories generally embrace a school or recess theme, though in wildly different ways. Eric Wight’s talking cupcake, Jiminy Sprinkles, has a playground run-in with some surly vegetables (“They think they’re so much cooler than everyone else because they’re vitamin-fortified”), while Dan Santat explores homework-sharing and first love in a story that also features an embarrassing and very public vomiting incident. Among the many moments that will keep readers in stitches: Babymouse having her whiskers zapped off by the god Zeus (“You dare insult a mean girl??” he bellows); knockoff versions of President Obama, Iron Man, and Nintendo’s Princess Peach competing in an RPG-style game of kickball; and Petey the cat turning the world’s citizens “rilly dumb” in a hilariously inane Dog Man story from Dav Pilkey. The orange two-color artwork lets the artists’ distinctive styles shine; readers can only hope more such collaborations are on the way. Ages 7–10. (July)
An all-star comics anthology tackles everyone's favorite subject: recess.Comics veterans and masters celebrate recess with favorite characters from Babymouse to Lunch Lady as well as stories from such acclaimed creators as Printz winner Gene Luen Yang and Eisner winner Raina Telgemeier. In Yang's ebullient "The Super-Secret Ninja Club," nerdy Daryl turns the tables on his friends when he immerses himself in the way of the ninja. In Eric Wight's imaginative "Freeze Tag," a lovable cupcake named Jiminy Sprinkles takes on the Mean Green Gang (consisting of a cucumber, broccoli, a green bean, a green pepper and their leader, a brussels sprout) for a game of freeze tag aided by some superpowers and a peppermint candy. Captain Underpants' creator Dav Pilkey amuses with his "Book 'Em, Dog Man," a story within a story about an evil cat determined to dumb down the world by destroying all books. Fans of Krosoczka's Lunch Lady series will delight in seeing Betty as the star of her own story, in which she must take down a perilous pizza monster. Anthologies can sometimes suffer from unevenness, when some pieces seem to be more filler than substance; this lively, upbeat and all-around-awesome offering is consistently convivial and laugh-out-loud funny from cover to cover.More fun than the playground at recess! (Graphic anthology. 7-12)