Crafty Cat and the Crafty Camp Crisis

illus. by Charise Mericle Harper. 128p. First Second. Aug. 2017. Tr $13.99. ISBN 9781626724853. POP
Gr 1–4—Birdie has a secret: whenever she gets in a fix, her imaginary alter ego, Crafty Cat, swoops in and crafts her way out of any and all difficulties. In this second installment in the series, Birdie's second grade classroom has been transformed into a Monster Craft Camp. Together with her supersize pencil case of craftiness and her best friend Evan, she knows she'll have a great time—that is, until class bully Anya shows up and everything goes wrong. This is a sweet, imaginative tale with plenty of heart. The characters are quirky and amusing but relatable, and most kids will enjoy seeing Birdie cope with the familiar ups and downs of school life. The endearingly childlike cartoon illustrations will appeal to readers, and as in the first title, the panels portraying the heroine's flights of fancy have scalloped edges. Flowers and clouds continue to come to life around Birdie to encourage her and move the story line forward, and there is more color overall: a welcome choice. Directions for seven of the crafts depicted in the book are included.
VERDICT Another enticing addition to younger graphic novel collections, and a great choice for fledgling crafters and fans of the first volume and/or author.

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