May 24, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Akissi by Marguerite Abouet | SLJ Review

Get the latest SLJ reviews every month, subscribe today and save up to 35%.

redstarABOUET, Marguerite. Akissi: Tales of Mischief. tr. from French by Judith Taboy & Marie Bédrune. illus. by Mathiew Sapin. 188p. Flying Eye/Nobrow. May 2018. pap. $14.95. ISBN 9781911171478.

Gr 2-5 –This comprehensive volume includes the seven short stories featured in Abouet & Sapin’s Akissi: Cat Invasion, along with 14 others. The tales, translated from French, follow Akissi’s day-to-day life in her Ivory Coast town. In “Good Mothers,” Akissi and friends steal their neighbor’s baby to play “mums.” In “Sunday Feast,” Akissi consumes all the food for Communion at church (including the wine) before the service begins. In “Midnight Pee,” Akissi’s brother, Fofana, refuses to wake up to accompany her to the outside bathroom, so she urinates on his blanket. The short story format sacrifices some character development, but the dynamic among Akissi, her brother, and their parents is classic nuclear family drama and hilarity. Realistic moments are not softened, such as when Akissi eats rotten fruit off the ground and contracts tapeworms that crawl out of her nose. But with its gross-out humor and plucky heroine, the collection reads like Dennis the Menace meets Pearls Before Swine, set in West Africa—and may appeal to fans of both. Sapin’s art is earth-toned, with a scratchy yet precise line quality. The panel structure is consistent, with no more than six similarly sized panels per page. Dialogue font is generally small. Bonus content includes three recipes and instructions on how to make African braids. VERDICT This volume fills a gap in children’s comics featuring African characters and settings. Highly recommended for middle grade graphic novel collections.–Alec Chunn, Eugene Public Library, OR

This review was published in the School Library Journal May 2018 issue.

Share
Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind

*