Gnome and Rat

Knopf. Jun. 2023. 80p. Tr $10.99. ISBN 9780593487822.
Gr 1-3–Tag along on adorable adventures with best friend duo Gnome and Rat in this new graphic novel series for emerging readers. Across five short chapters, Gnome’s endless energy shines alongside his passion for his brand new hat. No matter what silly drama unfolds, Rat remains by Gnome’s side, whether they are meeting magic rabbits and friendly yetis or dealing with the consequences of hair-growing tonic and door-to-door sales-critters. Stohler’s lively, cartoony illustrations and expressive characters keep the mood light and fun. Bright colors create the lush landscapes and stellar sunsets that make up the Enormous Forest, with white highlights helping the main characters stand out on each page. Light humor, created by the juxtaposition of Gnome’s high energy and Rat’s down-to-earth problem-solving, will keep kids and adults giggling as they turn the page. Supporting characters, such as the hat-selling possum and hat-repair porcupine, add to the whimsy.
VERDICT A cute new addition to the growing pool of emergent-reader graphic novels featuring best friends, this will appeal to fans of Ben Clanton’s “Narwhal & Jelly” series and Stephen Shaskan’s “Pizza & Taco” books.

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