Saturday, October 30, 2010

Johnny Boo: The Best Little Ghost in the World!

Just look at that cover. With his tiny body and curly head, Johnny Boo just might be the cutest ghost ever (Sorry, Casper.) In this book, Johnny roams the forest with his pet ghost Squiggle. They frolic, drink melted ice cream, sometimes hurt each others' feelings, and reconcile. Of most importance, they encounter a pink and yellow ice cream monster who turns out to be friendlier than he seems. Still, somehow Squiggle ends up in its belly.

This book is the work of Renaissance man James Kochalka. Kochalka has published a daily cartoon since 1998 called American Elf. He has also published a great number of original graphic novels including Pinky and Stinky, Peanutbutter and Jeremy's Best Book Ever, and Monkey vs. Robot. He won the 2006 Harvey Award for Best Online Comic and four Ignatz Awards over the years for his other endeavors. In addition to drawing, he also teaches at the Center for Cartoon Studies and is a recording artist. His band, James Kochalka Superstar has released 9 CDs.

Most reviews are positive and highlight that this book intended for young readers also has appeal for older ones. Leroy Douresseaux commented that "although this book is for children under 10-years of age, even older readers can like its sweet, playful ambiance." Kris wrote that "this book will captivate the young and young at heart." Peter Gutiérrez called it a "small gem" that is "sweet without being sugary."

This volume is the first in a series of four (so far). A preview is available from Top Shelf.

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