­Holiday House. (I Like to Read Comics). Jun. 2023. 40p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780823448579.
PreS-Gr 1–A simple yet special young readers’ graphic novel with a concise and lightly hilarious story to tell. A cat and dog are lazing around their cozy house when a storm starts to brew outside. There’s thunder! Dog is startled, and becomes increasingly agitated as the storm continues, ultimately cowering in the closet and falling fast asleep. While dozing, Dog imagines becoming a superhero who brings back the blue sky. Meanwhile, Cat remains blithely unruffled, batting their toys around and gently teasing Dog. Juxtaposing Dog’s escalating emotional reaction with Cat’s nonchalance makes for an amusing tension rooted in canine and feline realities, but also serves as a great touchstone for children and caregivers considering their own emotional reactions to stormy day sounds. As an introduction to reading, The text is satisfyingly succinct and active, peppered with repetitive storm noises—“Rumble,” “Boom”—and command words—“Run!” “Hide!”—mixed with the pets’ simple dialogue. Illustrations are unobtrusive yet thoughtful, filling the small domestic world with a plethora of textures and patterns, in carpets, furniture, walls, and clothing. Cat and Dog are drawn in a style visually reminiscent of William Steig characters, both in their cute, wobbly-outlined imperfection and instant emotional resonance.
VERDICT A swift, sweet, and visually satisfying vignette for beginning readers to enjoy with a caregiver or on their own.

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