- Aster and the Mixed-Up Magic by Thom Pico
Library ed. ISBN 9780593118887 $23.99
Trade ed. ISBN 9780593125342 $20.99
Paper ed. ISBN 9780593118870 $12.99
E-book ed. ISBN 9780593118894 $8.99
Reviewed from digital galleys R* Gr. 3–6
Aster and Buzz the talking pup are picking up where they left off with more adventures in their magical, mysterious valley. Along with the brave Chestnut Knights and the vulpine King of Autumn (still in his miniature form and quite grouchy about it), the duo must save their beloved village from the wrath of a sheep army, bent on reclaiming the world from human control. That’s nothing compared to what happens when the Crown of Seasons is accidentally shattered, allowing the trickster Rapscallion to escape his tombstone prison and wreak havoc on the world. The fate of the universe is once again in Aster’s hands, but there’s no reason not to have a little fun in the process. Pico’s new graphic novel is packed with the same wit, whimsy, and wackiness of the last volume (BCCB 3/20), and fans will be thrilled to be reunited with these beloved characters. While Aster has grown comfortable in her role as protector of the valley, Pico wisely shows the frustration and loneliness that come from the job. With brother Reed home from college, Aster would surely prefer to spend time playing video games with him, but how can she when the village is under sheepish attack? How can she be sure her scientist mother will believe she has magical powers? And what will await Aster now that her family is moving to Japan? In this fitting sequel with the promise of more adventures in the future, Pico and Karensac remain a dream team at crafting hilarious, heartwarming hijinks.