cover image Sweaterweather and Other Short Stories

Sweaterweather and Other Short Stories

Sara Varon. First Second, $19.99 (128p) ISBN 978-1-62672-118-0

Varon has added 10 stories to the eight gathered in her 2003 comics collection of the same name, along with brief introductions for all 18. Most of the stories are short, and most feature animals. In one, a bird and a monkey batter each other in a boxing match, then sit companionably on the couch nursing their wounds. A lion borrows a library book called How to Fit In in the African Grassland and tries various techniques for socializing with his prey (then gives the book a five-star review). There’s a snapshot of the Mexico City subway and its hawkers (“Cacahuetes! Diez pesos!” a bear cries), and a series of nervous interviews of her artist friends as Varon prepares to quit her job and work from home (“Coyote says that the times she has to really struggle to figure out what’s next, though uncomfortable, are the times she grows the most”). Varon’s characters, their sheepish expressions, and their animated conversations are unfailingly delightful, while flashes of graphic inventiveness—a fake flyer bound into the book, a set of carefully engineered paper dolls—are icing on the cake. Ages 8–up. [em](Feb.) [/em]