The Wondrous Wonders

First Second. Nov. 2022. 160p. tr. from French by Montana Kane . Tr $24.99. ISBN 9781250799111.
Gr 4-6–This beautiful graphic novel in translation tells the story of Jo, a young girl who runs away from her family only to stumble upon a magical storybook world deep in the woods. Jo does not like her new stepmother and stepsisters and feels she would be better off on her own in the woods surrounding the site of her family’s new home. As Jo begins her woodland adventure, she follows two small creatures to their fairy-tale village, bustling with activity. Once in the village, Jo meets a catlike girl named Nouk. Nouk explains to Jo that Emperor Tomcat has imprisoned much of their village, including Nouk’s mother, and the village is preparing to rescue them. When the rescue goes awry, Jo sets out with the help of Maurice the fox, Pom Pom the dog, and the Wondrous Wonders to save her new friends. Richly colored illustrations, paired with just enough text to provide readers with context while allowing their imagination to fill in the rest, create a vibrant reading experience. All human characters are white.
VERDICT This is a must-buy for any library, packed with humor and heart. Young readers will delight in joining Jo on her adventures through the forest and meeting the entertaining cast of fantasy creatures. Full-color illustrations with light line work create a subtle, dreamlike aesthetic.

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