BOOKS
Chasma Knights
illus. by Boya Sun. 128p. First Second. May 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781626726048.
COPY ISBN
Gr 2–5—In the world of Chasma, Knights can make their toys grow or dance. Toys can even be catalyzed so that they can merge with their owners to give them special powers. Neon Knights, however, are the only ones who can't catalyze toys. Beryl, a lonely Neon Knight, makes toys that can grow and move on their own. She meets Coro, an outgoing Oxygen Knight (one of the most powerful kinds of Knights), and the two become fast friends. Beryl shows Coro her new toys, but she has one rule: these toys cannot be catalyzed, or else they'll go haywire! Coro disregards Beryl's admonition, while Beryl tries to create a toy with a powerful golden core. When both events go sideways, Coro and Beryl must work together to save the day. This graphic novel features a bright palette, anime-esque character designs reminiscent of Steven Universe, and seamless, flowing panel work. The book uses brief conversations and concise narration from Beryl to tell a simple tale that still touches on deep themes, such as bullying, social exclusion, and friendship. Readers are told only that Neon Knights cannot catalyze toys; they aren't given any information on the setting or what these powers entail before being thrown into the story. As such, some might be lost amid the dreamlike scenery, ornate outfits, and quick-moving narrative.
VERDICT A gorgeous work; for most children's graphic novel collections.

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