Author: Sell, Chad
A group of young artists must work together when one of their own creations becomes a monster. In graphic novel format.
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|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 2.60
Points: 1.0 Quiz: 509782
Kirkus Reviews (04/01/20)
School Library Journal (03/01/20)
The Hornbook (00/11/20)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 03/01/2020 Gr 3–6—Chicago native Sell's (The Cardboard Kingdom) latest graphic novel does triple duty as a tribute to the power of art, a message of the importance of friendship, and an inspired romp through the Windy City. The only child of busy parents who own a diner, nine-year-old Drew has few friends. Instead, she takes solace in her doodles, who, when they're not hanging out in "Doodleville," pop off the page and cause mischief. When Drew and her art club take a field trip to the Art Institute of Chicago, the doodles run amok among the famed paintings, frightening one of Degas's ballet dancers and making a splash among Monet's water lilies. When an angry museum bigwig scolds her for defiling a painting, Drew is consumed with worry, and her anxiety sky-rockets when her newest doodle, a leviathan, destroys Doodleville, invades the other club members' (magical but better behaved) artwork, and devours another character. Though racked with guilt, she must overcome her angst before it envelops her, with the help of family and friends. Sell has crafted a tender yet action-packed tale of a young girl who uses her creativity as an outlet for her emotions and learns to draw strength from those around her. Vibrant, whimsical cartoons keep the focus on characters' facial expressions. The tone and palette reflect the story; gentle, muted hues and controlled linework are replaced with angry purples and frenetic scribbles when the leviathan wreaks havoc. VERDICT Aspiring artists, fans of The Cardboard Kingdom, lovers of graphic novels, and anyone struggling with friendship will appreciate Sell's newest tale.—Beronica Puhr, Oak Park Public Library, IL - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 05/15/2020 Drew’s doodles slip off the paper and become her good-natured, if occasionally mischievous, companions. When her art club visits the Chicago Art Institute for inspiration, though, things take a surprisingly dark turn. Drew produces a Leviathan that travels between flat surfaces like its fellow doodles and becomes a terrifying and destructive force to the Doodleville world they inhabit. This, it turns out, is a manifestation of Drew’s feelings of anger and insecurity, and it’s only with the help of her diverse cast of friends and her own artistic instincts that she tames the inner/outer monster into compromise. Sell (Cardboard Kingdom, 2018) has conceived a heady metaphor, one that proves somewhat unwieldy when not clearly defined. His characters sometimes also miss the mark, repetitive and often overreactive in a way that can undermine emotional authenticity. However, readers will definitely respond to the idea of large emotions that are hard to control, as well as the therapeutic joy of art—likewise Sell’s use of encroaching darkness and his luminous figures, warmly rounded but imbued with wonderfully emotive features. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.