Toon Books Wave 3: Luke on the Loose, The Big No-No!

Luke on the Loose

Following their releases from last spring and fall, Toon Books has two new titles out this spring. Both are 32-page hardcovers for $12.95, aimed at grades K-2, and they’re the best Toon Books yet.

Luke on the Loose

Luke on the Loose

by Harry Bliss

Luke runs away from his dad while chasing pigeons and journeys through New York City, from Central Park to the Brooklyn Bridge. The opening page, where two adults are engaging in, according to the dialogue, “(boring dad talk)”, tickled me. It’s the perfect setup for a situation any kid can relate to, seeking something more exciting than standing around waiting for their parents. The premise is an excuse for a string of gags, as Luke upsets various city dwellers, and the pages are full of motion.

The art is simple, easy-to-read, and colorful. At times, I would have rather seen Bliss use slightly thicker lines to give his characters more weight, but that’s a preference, not a flaw. Luke’s running is full of his joy and freedom, and his exaggerated figure, with its oversized head, is funny. It’s cool to see a diverse range of city dwellers, too.

Luke on the Loose is due out April 6.

Benny and Penny in The Big No-No!

Benny and Penny in The Big No-No!

by Geoffrey Hayes

The brother and sister mice are back in their second book, where they’re curious about their new neighbor.

The two, although mice, act just like kids. Benny’s impatient with his younger sister, thoughtless about her wants and blaming her for his own forgetfulness. His pail is missing, and he jumps to the conclusion the new kid must have something to do with it. Even though leaving their yard is a big no-no, they venture out and after many misunderstandings, eventually make a new friend in the hedgehog next door. Along the way, there’s plenty of mud, both splashed in and thrown.

The drawings are simply lovely, beautiful to get lost in, and softly colored. They have a good sense of both action, capturing just the right moment, and character. A wonderful read.

The Big No-No! is due out May 5. It can be ordered through comic shops with code FEB09 4433.


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