All Ketchup, No Mustard!

S. & S./Simon Spotlight. Jun. 2021. 64p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534484634.
K-Gr 3–A graphic novel for the youngest of readers, this high-energy, playful friendship story stars an anthropomorphic hot dog and chicken nugget, along with a cast of other comical culinary characters. Nugget and Dog, best friends since preschool, discover a box of memorabilia from the days that Great Grandpa Frank Furter was a member of the K.E.T.C.H.U.P. Crusaders, a group that anyone could join to help create a more positive world (K stands for kindness, E for empathy, etc.). Nugget and Dog decide to continue the tradition and begin promoting the Crusader way of life. Meanwhile, Dijon Mustard (who turned evil after he didn’t get the kids meal prize he wanted) plans to stop the Crusaders with G.R.U.M.P.S—Giant Real Ugly Monsters with Perfect Scowls. When his first monster, Stomps, begins destroying Gastropolis, it is time for Nugget and Dog to put K.E.T.C.H.U.P. to the test and save the day. The book gently introduces young readers to the comic format, with each page containing four or fewer colorful panels featuring expressive characters. An opening section explains basic comic elements such as the difference between text boxes, speech bubbles, and thought clouds.
VERDICT A great introduction to comics for beginning readers.

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