The Best Burp

Fabled Films. (Nocturnals Early Reader). Apr. 2020. 40p. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9781944020323; pap. $5.99. ISBN 9781944020316.
K-Gr 2–The Nocturnals are Tobin the pangolin, Bismarck the sugar glider, and Dawn, the rather motherly red fox. They all wear blue scarves. Bink the bat does not. Bink is therefore not an official Nocturnal, and is, in fact, a bad influence. When Bink convinces Bismarck to have a burping contest, Tobin is peer-pressured into judging. The burping contest appears out of character for these well-mannered mammals. However, Dawn appears in the book’s final chapter to advise the young ones that burping contests are rude. The story is divided into three simple chapters. The text is gently repetitive with words occasionally enlarged to show emphasis. Words like “burp” and “rumble” are presented in a large, stylized font. The yellow color of these words contrasts nicely with the predominantly gray and purple backgrounds. The animals have charm, but when they are presented either on a blank white background or in front of a dark forest, the effect is lackluster and fairly static. Artistic flourishes, like the moonlight reflecting off the purple leaves, add depth to otherwise flat scenes.
VERDICT Recommended for collections where this growing series is already popular.

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