Hilo: Saving the Whole Wide World by Judd Winick

Hilo Saving the Whole Wide World by Judd Winick

Hilo: Saving the Whole Wide World by Judd Winick (InfoSoup)

This second book in the Hilo series is just as fresh and exciting as the first. In this book, Hilo and his friends DJ and Gina have to figure out how to save the earth from creatures who are appearing from other planets through strange portals. Luckily, Hilo quickly figures out how to zap the creatures back to their worlds, but soon even he can’t keep up with number of portals opening. Then there is also the question of Razorwark, the villain from the first book and whether he will be arriving through one of the portals himself bringing with him a potential answer about Hilo’s origins. I don’t want to spoil a single thing in this smart and funny series, so pick it up!

Winick sets just the right tone in this second book, managing to handily escape the sophomore slump and keep the series action-filled and funny. Though this book does serve as a bridge to the rest of the story, it also fills in many gaps for readers about Hilo and his friends. We are also introduced to a marvelous new character in Polly, a sorceress martial-arts cat. She is entirely kick-butt and ferocious, leaning into every battle that comes her way.

Winick does a great job with the art as well. His action sequences are dynamic and colorful. The portals themselves add a wonderful tension to the page, where one isn’t sure what is going to arrive next. Each character is unique and delightful to spend time with and once again I applaud Winick’s decision to have strong girls and diverse characters center stage.

A second book that continues to build on a great graphic novel series for children. Appropriate for ages 6-9.

Reviewed from library copy.


One Day in the Eucalyptus Eucalyptus Tree by Daniel Bernstrom

One Day in the Eucalyptus Eucalyptus Tree by Daniel Bernstrom

One Day in the Eucalyptus Eucalyptus Tree by Daniel Bernstrom (InfoSoup)

A little boy skipped along in the shade of the eucalyptus tree when down came a snake who ate him up! The boy told the snake that there was more room in his belly and encouraged him to eat something else. So the snake snuck up on a bird and gobbled it up. The boy told the snake he was still hungry and one-by-one, the snake ate more and more animals: a cat, a sloth, an ape, a bear, and a beehive. By then, his stomach was huge and distended, but the boy told him there was room for just one more very small thing. Perhaps not!

In the tradition of There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, this picture book has a rhythm and rhyme that makes reading it aloud pure joy. This is a child outwitting an enormous snake, staying calm and being clever, adding to the appeal for children. The pacing of the book is stellar, creating moments before each new animal is devoured as well as when the boy convinces the snake to eat more.

The illustrations are bright and colorful. The eucalyptus tree is central to the story and to the art with its colored bark and large expanse. The bright yellow snake is huge and vies with the tree for the reader’s attention in the best of ways. Cross sections of the snake’s belly show the animals and the boy inside.

Great pick for a read aloud, this picture book is energetic and cheerful. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy received from Katherine Tegen Books.