Under The Cottonwood Tree: El Susto de la Curandera by Paul and Carlos Meyer

Under The Cottonwood Tree: El Susto de la Curandera by Paul and Carlos Meyer

Thanks to Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book

“Love can take you to dark places, but you can’t stay there forever”

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Amadeo constantly saves his little brother, Carlos, from mischief. When Carlos trespasses inside the local witch’s house, Amadeo finds his little brother has turned into a calf! Unsure of what to do, Amadeo turns to his best friend Monree and his family, to help find a cure for Carlos. Soon, they all find themselves in trouble, and Amadeo is the only one that can save his family and friends from certain doom. Written in Spanglish and lavishly illustrated, Under The Cottonwood Tree is a beautiful, heartwarming story about family, friendships, and love.

I would recommend this book for anyone to read. Aside from the gorgeous illustrations, the story was a beautiful representation of Mexian culture. While I don’t know much about Spanish, I knew enough to understand the words used, and appreciated that any new words I came across could be found in the glossary in the back. Every character, even the curandera, was relatable in some way. The author transports the reader into their world, and I found myself on the edge of my seat, anxiously reading what would happen next! 

The Okay Witch by Emma Steinkellner

The Okay Witch by Emma Steinkellner

“I never really fit in. And I thought being a witch would fix everything, but it just makes everything more confusing.”

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Moth Hush is a thirteen year old girl who loves everything about witches. Through complete accident, Moth discovers she and her family are a part of a long and historical line of actual witches! Hoping that this will change her life, Moth begins to study magic in secret, with the help of her long-time friend turned cat, Mr. Laszlo. Together, the two of them discover what it means to be a witch, and the costs that come with it. Through each trial and tribulation, Moth learns a little bit more about who she is and what she wants to become. 

I highly recommend this book for many reasons. The illustrations are beautifully drawn, the characters are diverse, and the story flows easily. Personally, I ended the book wanting to know more about the world the author had created. It is truly a beautiful story about self discovery, family relationships, and finding one’s own way in the world.

Bloodlust & Bonnets by Emily McGovern

Bloodlust & Bonnets by Emily McGovern

“Will everyone kindly stop shooting me! It’s very disruptive!”

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Lucy is a rebellious young woman living in the Regency Era of Great Britain. After a close encounter with a vampire, Lady Violet Travesty, Lucy is saved by Lord Byron, a flippant poet, and is later joined by Sham, a seemingly emotionless bounty hunter. The three form a group to hunt down Lady Travesty and find themselves on a wild goose chase throughout Britain. From parties with vampires, to forests with succubi, the group perseveres all the while gruesomely fighting, awkwardly flirting, and endlessly exploiting each other.

For readers who enjoyed Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson, you will thoroughly enjoy this book as well. It is a better version of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, with perfectly timed humor, not-so-subtle tropes, and plenty of graphic action. I loved that even though the facial expressions were minimal (nobody has mouths), their emotions clearly depicted what the character was feeling. While this story is a bit longer than some graphic novels and has more text, I feel it contains the perfect amount of detailing, from the plot to the illustrations. A hilariously fantastic read!

Dewdrop, by Katie O’Neill

Dewdrop, by Katie O’Neill

Thank you to NetGalley and Oni Press for an advanced copy

“The only person I need to compete with is myself, and try to do better than I did yesterday”

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 

Dewdrop is an adorable axolotl who just wants to help their friends do the best they can do at the upcoming sports fair. Dewdrop helps each of their friends just by being honest with them, and encouraging them in a genuine way. Once the show begins, Dewdrop supports each friend through their part of the show, and in the end the friends all thank Dewdrop.

I would highly recommend this book for many reasons. The illustrations alone are wonderfully done and gorgeous to look at. Each page is a splash of color that could entertain the most disinterested child. The story is simple and sweet, with a beautiful lesson about self confidence. Overall an amazing book.