Kazu Kibuishi, Author . Scholastic/Graphix $21.99 (94p) ISBN 978-0-545-09892-2

Kibuishi (the Amulet series) collects his long-running Web comic about Copper, a human boy, and his talking dog, Fred, who go on a series of short adventures, traveling through a world that is sometimes fantastical and occasionally dystopian. In one memorable strip, Copper and Fred bounce precariously across the tops of giant mushrooms; in another they enjoy a nice meal at an urban restaurant. The art is wonderful, a pastel palette capturing imaginative landscapes, and the wide variety of vehicles Copper and Fred travel in are delightfully designed. As whimsical as it all is, the dialogue sometimes gets in the way of Kibuishi's playful world. Fred is so pessimistic and filled with self-doubt that some readers may wish he couldn't talk at all. In one strip, Fred's unjustified worrying is so great that he is unable to enjoy a fishing trip because he dreads a perfect moment coming to an end. Copper acts as Fred's constant optimistic foil, telling him that it will all turn out all right, even as the wings drop off their homemade helicopter (it does turn out all right). Kibuishi's introduction explaining that he was depressed when he began the strip may go over younger readers' heads. Ages 8–up. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 12/07/2009
Release date: 01/01/2010
Prebound-Glued - 94 pages - 978-0-606-14274-8
Paperback - 94 pages - 978-0-545-09893-9
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