From the Saturday AM Annual series , Vol. 2

Delightfully varied.

A broad and inclusive collection of manga short stories.

This collection offers nine different tales of varying genres and with different illustration styles. Although each of the entries are stand-alones, some of them are also parts of larger universes; however, even these can readily be appreciated and enjoyed by new readers. The highlights of the collection are “Apple Black,” by Odunze Oguguo, set in a world that’s rooted in magic in which characters meet an unlikely villain who’s a master manipulator, and “MMWOG: Land of Spirits,” by Han X. Rivers, in which a mother is put in the difficult situation of defending the world while also exposing her child to its ghostly horrors. Rivers’ art is especially stunning with its delicate linework. In other stories, the art is cute or sharply angled, depending on the narratorial choices that it complements. “Clock Striker,” by Mike Saharat Srimuang, is set in a technologically advanced world in which a close and meaningful friendship unfolds; the hero of Tapiwa Sikota’s “Spoon” was cursed and turned into a spoon and now faces an evil warlord named Spaghetti; and Angélica Rosales’ “Yellow Stringer,” which focuses on problems at a tabloid paper, emphasizes the importance of fighting back. The book also features an opening letter from the publisher and two interviews, one with WEBTOON artist uru-chan and one with comics professional Sanford Greene. Manga fans will appreciate the diversity of voices and characters featured in this volume marking Saturday AM’s 10th anniversary.

Delightfully varied. (Manga anthology. 16-adult)

Pub Date: Oct. 17, 2023

ISBN: 9780760382523

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Rockport Publishers

Review Posted Online: Sept. 23, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2023



From the Wordplay Shakespeare series

Even so, this remains Macbeth, arguably the Bard of Avon’s most durable and multilayered tragedy, and overall, this enhanced...

A pairing of the text of the Scottish Play with a filmed performance, designed with the Shakespeare novice in mind.

The left side of the screen of this enhanced e-book contains a full version of Macbeth, while the right side includes a performance of the dialogue shown (approximately 20 lines’ worth per page). This granular focus allows newcomers to experience the nuances of the play, which is rich in irony, hidden intentions and sudden shifts in emotional temperature. The set and costuming are deliberately simple: The background is white, and Macbeth’s “armor” is a leather jacket. But nobody’s dumbing down their performances. Francesca Faridany is particularly good as a tightly coiled Lady Macbeth; Raphael Nash-Thompson gives his roles as the drunken porter and a witch a garrulousness that carries an entertainingly sinister edge. The presentation is not without its hiccups. Matching the video on the right with the text on the left means routinely cutting off dramatic moments; at one point, users have to swipe to see and read the second half of a scene’s closing couplet—presumably an easy fix. A “tap to translate” button on each page puts the text into plain English, but the pop-up text covers up Shakespeare’s original, denying any attempts at comparison; moreover, the translation mainly redefines more obscure words, suggesting that smaller pop-ups for individual terms might be more meaningful.

Even so, this remains Macbeth, arguably the Bard of Avon’s most durable and multilayered tragedy, and overall, this enhanced e-book makes the play appealing and graspable to students . (Enhanced e-book. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 9, 2013


Page Count: -

Publisher: The New Book Press LLC

Review Posted Online: Nov. 6, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2013


From the Laddertop series , Vol. 1

An intriguing beginning; readers will clamor for the follow-up.

A high-octane outer-space adventure slated to be the first in a twosome.

Preteens Robbi and Azure are best friends, though the girls couldn’t be more opposite: Robbi is a sensitive dreamer, while Azure is a driven go-getter with a short temper. Azure’s biggest dream is to be picked for Laddertop. This is a program of the Givers, aliens who claim to help conserve Earth’s resources by building power-providing space stations 36,000 feet above the Earth; these are reached by giant ladders. Children are chosen to attend Laddertop since their small stature makes it possible for them to perform maintenance in the cramped spaces. Azure is delighted to learn she’s picked for the mission, but Robbi is more reluctant. She reveals that her stepfather is abusive, and she worries about the safety of her younger siblings in her absence. Once in the Laddertop training program, strange things begin to happen to Robbi: She's bitten by a strange creature that imprints her with a tattoo that periodically bleeds, and she is plagued by strange dreams. The main characters in this volume are largely female, strong and intelligent, a wonderful departure from male-dominated extraterrestrial offerings. Ibardolaza’s muscular art blends manga and Western aesthetics.

An intriguing beginning; readers will clamor for the follow-up. (Graphic science fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7653-2460-3

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Tor

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2011

Close Quickview