Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Jack and the Box: A Toon Book by Art Spiegelman

Jack and the Box (Toon Books) by Art Spiegelman

Review by Erica Moore

Jack has a new toy. It's full of surprises each time he opens it. Instead of a Jack in the box it's a Zack in the box. Always unpredictable Zack is a very silly toy and says so himself. In a nod to Dr. Seuss and the Cat in the Hat Comes Back, Zack also has many friends who pop out of his hat and cause mayhem for Jack.

This is a beginning reader comic with limited vocabulary and lots of repetition in the text to help new readers succeed. This is one of several beginning reader comics published by Toon Books for kids. The pictures and text together tell a whole story encouraging kids to read simple words while adding another layer to the story with the art. The art is clean and simple just enough to convey the action and emotions of the two main characters, Jack and his toy Zack.

This book is for Kindergarten through 2nd grade, but Art Spiegelman fans and older teens will appreciate the humor. Zack is a silly toy in the story, but he's also a little scary as shown through Jack's reactions in the drawings. There is just a touch of malice underneath all the silliness. Older teens will get the irony of parents giving a toy that is somewhat scary all the while being completely oblivious. This makes the book a little more sophisticated than many beginning readers. That being said it wasn't too scary for my young sons who like to read it over and over while laughing.

Visit the website at www.toon-books.com

More info:
  • Reading level: Ages 4-8
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Raw Junior, LLC (October 21, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979923832
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979923838
  • Source: Review copy from publisher

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