Sea Sirens

illus. by Janet K. Lee. 144p. (Trot & Cap'n Bill Adventure: Bk. 1). Viking. Jun. 2019. pap. $12.99. ISBN 9780451480170.
Gr 3–6—Trot, who is Vietnamese American, loves surfing with her cat, Cap'n Bill. But an afternoon out on the waves turns stressful when Trot brings her grandfather, who has dementia, with her to the beach and he wanders off. The authorities find him, but Trot's worried mother grounds Trot and her grandfather. When Trot and Cap'n Bill sneak out for a quick surf, they get knocked off their board and interrupt an underwater battle between the ancient Sea Sirens and their rivals, the menacing Serpents. Joined by Trot's grandfather, who followed them when they left home, Trot and Cap'n Bill have a fun evening with the regal Sea Sirens until the duo learn that Grandpa has wandered off again—this time, into the clutches of the Serpents. This is a light, low-stakes read that will resonate with those who enjoy spending time with lovable characters. Lee's stylized artwork and gorgeous colors will appeal to the tweenage set, while Chu's simple dialogue keeps things accessible to young comics fans. Though Trot and Cap'n Bill have a charming dynamic and energy, Trot's family and the Sirens and Serpents are lacking in depth. Younger readers are likely not to notice, however, thanks to the brisk pacing.
VERDICT For libraries with younger comics fans, and a solid additional purchase for middle school collections.

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