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Review: Kondo & Kezumi Visit Giant Island by David Goodner

Kondo & Kezumi Visit Giant Island
By David Goodner
Illustrated by Andrea Tsurumi

Disney-Hyperion
ISBN: 9781368025775
$14.99
Grades 1-3
Out September 17, 2019

Find it at:
Schuler Books | Your library

People talk quite a bit about the rise of graphic novels in the 21st century, but you know what people don’t talk about enough? The evolution of the early chapter book. It wasn’t that long ago that books like Kondo & Kezumi Visit Giant Island – heavily illustrated, full-color, comics-inspired – didn’t quite exist. And now they do. Lucky readers, because K&K is an inviting and adventurous saga that kids are going to enjoy.

Towering Kondo and diminutive Kezumi have lived on their island their whole lives. This isn’t a problem – it’s a nice island. But when a map in a bottle washes ashore they are faced with a decision: discover what’s beyond the horizon or stay with the familiar. They pick the former, leading them to islands unique, bizarre, and dangerous.

Andrea Tsurumi’s illustrations are a delight. I’m used to seeing her work in the excellent picture books Accident! and Crab Cake, and it translates well into the picture book format. Sometimes lush and sunny, other times fantastical, Tsurumi’s playful imagination shows on every page.

A thoroughly modern early chapter book with timeless themes of friendship and self-determination, readers should take to this new series quickly and fully.

Review copy from the publisher.

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About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.

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