Five Magic Rooms

Holiday House. (I Like to Read Comics). Jun. 2021. 40p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780823444977; pap. $7.99. ISBN 9780823450442.
PreS-Gr 2–Knetzger tells the story of a magical playdate between two young friends. Mina and Pie explore the many magical rooms in Pie’s home, taking in the delightful sights and smells around them. The Sun Room is filled with lush greenery; a mouse Pie has never seen lives in the Small Room. Even the bathroom is far from ordinary—it’s filled with bubbles. The duo conclude their visit with lunch in the garden, and though Mina initially believes her boring house can’t compare with Pie’s home, Pie reassures her that her house is also filled with special things: “You don’t notice them because you see them every day.” This is an easy and approachable graphic novel for emerging readers, featuring white speech bubbles with clear black text. The evocative sensory language and charming illustrations immerse readers in the ambiance of each room and offer context for challenging vocabulary. Panels vary in size and shape, and their creative placement helps readers intuitively follow the story. Pie and their mom are both white and Mina has light brown skin.
VERDICT The fantastical elements of this tale balance well with a sincere message that friends can help us see the beauty and magic in the world. Don’t miss this fantastic early reader for younger comic fans.

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