The Curse of the Evil Eye

Top Shelf. (Red Panda and Moon Bear: Bk. 2). Mar. 2022. 208p. pap. $14.99. ISBN 9781603095013.
Gr 3-6–With their round heads, long arms, and curious minds, Red Panda and Moon Bear can solve anything. The titular siblings defend their neighborhood of Martí from strange threats, including a rampaging pastelito and a puddle that eats shoes. The Destroyer of Worlds and the Being of Unimaginable Horror return from the first book to help out. The siblings’ penchant for action and imaginative gadgets is usually less effective than their listening and empathy skills. Several cases are solved by hearing out the cause of mischief and sharing a kind deed or word. They address emotional issues such as jealousy, loneliness, reputation, and arguing parents. Other times, powers of freezing, shrinking, and invisibility may also be required. Large faces and abstract creature designs fill each page with visual hooks to speed readers along. Spanish vocabulary is lightly sprinkled through signs and dialogue. The siblings and the other residents of Martí are brown-skinned and Latinx.
VERDICT Focusing on protagonists who combine childlike imagination with developing maturity, these thoughtful, bilingual adventures will appeal to returning readers.

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