Summer Cinebook Edition

A column article by: Penny Kenny

Ah, Summer vacation. Long days filled with playing with friends and running here and there. But even the most active kids (and their parents!) need some quiet time and that's the perfect moment to bring out these selections from Cinebook.

Cedric 3: What Got Into Him? by Cauvin & Laudec (48p, ISBN: 978-1-84918-081-3, $11.95).

This volume of Cedric skews a bit older than the previous volumes, more toward tweens than younger readers. Actually, the volume's opening and closing stories, while having humorous moments, will probably appeal more to parents and grandparents as they focus on Cedric's grandfather and his memories of his late wife. In between, however, Cedric has homework problems; pursues Chen, the oblivious girl of his dreams; begs for a pet; and generally gets into mischief as he tries to comprehend the adult world. Readers can both laugh at and sympathize with his efforts. Laudec's art style is a step short of caricature, featuring characters with big noses and heads, and tiny feet. Yet it has a sense of heart.

Each panel is expressive and captures the feel of movement.

Iznogoud 7: Iznogoud the Infamous by Goscinny & Tabary (46p, ISBN: 978-1-84918-074-0, $11.95).

Bagdad's favorite nasty vizier continues his quest to "be Caliph instead of the Caliph!" in five new adventures that involve unlucky diamonds, djinns, voodoo, magic travel posters, and invisibility. Iznogoud is a cross between the Looney Tunes' Yosemite Sam and Wile E. Coyote - lots of big plans, a bad temper, and bad luck. You can't help but laugh as Iznogoud gets deeper and deeper in trouble. This is truly an all ages book, as younger readers can enjoy the ridiculous situations and slapstick, while older readers enjoy the clever word play. I'm rather fond of the djinn's "Oh, I'm full of spirits...I'm a real djinn and tonic!" and the guard's "A hair? It's not apparent." Tabary does some beautiful work on the art. The characters are caricatures and full of life. Iznogoud smirks, preens, pirouettes, and bounces his way across the page. The backgrounds are simplified, allowing readers to keep focused on the main action. That's not to say the book lacks atmosphere, however. The opening panel of "The Sinister Liquidator" looks like something from a Berni Wrightson or Wally Wood book.

Yoko Tsuno 6: The Morning of the World by Roger LeLoup (46p, ISBN: 978-1-84918-082-5, $11.95).

My favorite electrical engineer is back in an adventure that combines time travel, the legendary Balinese temple dancers, friendship, and dinosaurs! This is one of the best Yoko stories I've read so far. It's fast moving without every being confusing; combines history, SF, and character seamlessly; and has several delightful heroines of various ages. Yoko is smart, courageous, adventurous, and caring. She'll risk her life without a second thought to protect someone. Her cousin Monya, who sets the whole story in motion, is more impulsive than Yoko, but just as intelligent and eager to fix her mistakes. Little Dew is mainly a background character this volume, but I do like seeing how she pitches in and helps whether it be handing someone a needed wrench or attacking a monster. Rangda is an older woman who has been banished from her people and suffered at their hands. Yet she's willing to help the strangers who come to her for aid. Narki, a dancer sentenced to death because of Monya's actions, also shows courage and kindness. The art is gorgeous.

The action scenes are dynamic. The backgrounds are detailed, but never overpower the foreground. While both boys and girls can read and enjoy The Morning of the World, this volume definitely celebrates Girl Power and I highly recommend it to parents wanting to inspire daughters to the wonders of story and the world.

The Adventures of Blake & Mortimer 10: The Sarcophagi of the Sixth Continent Part 2 by Yves Sente & André Juillard (56p, ISBN: 978-1-84918-077-1, $15.95).

Now in Antarctica, Blake, Mortimer, and their friends hope to find the KGB agent Olrik and his Indian terrorist allies before they attack the Universal Exposition. However, Mortimer's past in India is about to haunt him in an unexpected and deadly way. This is a wonderful book to hand to older tweens who enjoy adventure, heroism, and SF à la Alex Rider and James Bond. There's quite a bit of reading in this volume, but chances are they'll never notice as Sente keeps the story moving at a brisk pace. The action never stops. There are near collisions with icebergs, shipboard chases, a dash with dogsleds, a submarine voyage beneath the Antarctic; fist fights, gun fights, and psychic energy fights. The plot fits together perfectly and Juillard's clean artwork is dynamic and lovely to look at.

Madeline DeMille's color work gives the pages a beautiful richness. It's a superb addition to the long running series.

Whether you're looking for something humorous or adventurous for your favorite young reader, Cinebook has you covered with selections that can be read and reread with pleasure.

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