cover image Night Stories (Folktales from Latin America)

Night Stories (Folktales from Latin America)

Liniers. Toon, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-6626-6529-5

Following a contextualizing introduction from David Bowles, Liniers (Wildflowers) retells a trio of lightly scary Latin American folktales via this seriocomic graphic novel. In the book’s frame story, two bored, wide-awake siblings tell each other frightening tales from their shared bunk bed. The first, “The Mermaid and the Pink Dolphin,” finds beauty and danger compelling both a ship’s captain who travels the Amazon River and the Iara, or river mermaid, who encounters him. The second story, “The Owl of Doom,” brings a child-savvy twist to the Mexican legend of a seven-foot witch-owl who “flies around or sits on a perch looking for people to kill!” And in “The Evil Light,” two gauchos on horseback in South America are terrorized by a mysterious light that they perceive as the soul-stealing demon Mandinga. In the artist’s well-known art style, delicate ink and watercolor scenes accompany humorous dialogue and text (“The monkey had very little maritime experience”), showcasing the enduring power of folktales and whetting readers’ appetites for further tellings. Extensive back matter offers more about the stories’ backgrounds. Characters are portrayed with various skin tones. Ages 7–9. (June)