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Jack and the Box (Toon)by Art Spiegelman
Synopses & Reviews
Jack's parents gave him a new toy and he can't believe how silly it is! Sometimes it's funny and other times it's scary. Sometimes it talks to him and other times it hides. At first, Jack loves all the surprises that his toy can offer, but after a while he starts to think his toy is a little too silly — in fact, it's gone out of control!
"A skeptic might not think that the Pulitzer Prize winner who made a graphic novel about Auschwitz could also write and draw for the not-quite-literate set — but rest assured, this comic gem of a picture book demonstrates Spiegelman's ability to conquer his audience, no matter its constituents. Sticking to his well-developed aesthetic, Spiegelman introduces a bunny hero, Jack, who receives a jack-in-the-box. This jack-in-the-box can talk, and its appearance registers somewhere between goofy and clownlike sinister (see its crocodilian upper teeth); its features gain extra oomph by virtue of being the only ones in a spread to receive high-contrast color treatment. With Jack's parents out of the room, the toy performs Cat-in-the-Hat/Marx Brothers — like slapstick tricks timed to perfection. This book choreographs jokes with an exquisite understanding of climax and denouement. As with the other books from this publisher, the design is sophisticated, making elegant use of panels, an easy-to-handle small format and subtle, low-contrast hues. That the vocabulary and the matchup of dialogue balloons to the action are geared to beginning readers is icing on the cake. Ages 4 — up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Balancing the aesthetic of comics with the familiarity of picture books, and even harkening back to Dr. Seuss, Spiegelman has produced a polished and fun story following a young bunny s struggle with his new jack-in-the-box." Horn Book
"True to its comic-strip roots, without the clutter that some children have a hard time reading, this title is a surefire hit." Sarah Provence, School Library Journal
"Framed in one or two sequential panels per page done in flat colors, simple shapes and with an all-dialogue text in balloons, the episode looks like a comic for brand new readers. There's a lot going on beneath the surface, though, and this may have some therapeutic value for older children too." Kirkus Reviews
“[The] artwork will appeal to a broad range of lower-level readers. True to its comic-strip roots…this title is a surefire hit.” – School Library Journal
Jack just got a new toy, and it’s full of surprises. Each time the box pops open, there’s a new and bigger surprise. Is it a silly toy, a scary toy…or something else entirely?
With a limited vocabulary and unlimited imagination, Art Spiegelman applies his out-of-the-box thinking to a book that has all the surprise and bounce of a jack-in-the-box.
About the Author
Art Spiegelman is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus, A Survivor’s Tale as well as In the Shadow of No Towers, which was selected by the New York Times Book Review as one of the 100 Notable Books of 2004. His work for children includes the best-selling Open Me…I’m a Dog! and the Little Lit series of comics anthologies, for which he was both co-editor and contributor. He lives in New York City.
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