Yasmina is an aspiring young chef who fills her dad’s lunchbox with delicious and fresh foods. He works at a French fry eatery, but she insists on fresh ingredients that she often obtains from a neighborhood garden. That is, until a big conglomerate comes in, buys the land, and razes the gardens to plant potato fields. Yasmina resorts to stealing veggies and herbs from a neighbor’s garden on the roof of her building, but she’s eventually caught and made to stop. She tries to spend her meager savings on some fresh foods from the market, but she instead finds all the fresh ingredients have been replaced by potato crisps in bags, and her fellow townspeople are going nuts for them! Yasmina and her friends from the garden must get to the bottom of the mystery of these potato crisps and why they’re turning the townspeople into crazy animals, and her upstairs neighbor may have something to do with it all.
Yasmina is so full of energy, and reading this made me hungry for some fresh foods. She is very passionate about food and her family, and she expresses her love for her father in being able to cook for him. There is a bit of a criticism to cultures prioritizing convenience food rather than homemade with fresh ingredients, as well as the harm being done to the environment by large corporate farming. The "mystery" Yasmina must solve is fun and slightly gross. Most of the characters around Yasmina, including her dad, are not given a ton of depth or development. Still, this is an imaginative story with some interesting social commentary.
The art is a little interesting. There are whole pages without dialogue, but the story is easy to follow. There are no panel outlines like traditional graphic novels. Make sure readers have a firm grasp on narrating wordless pages and following the flow without panels.
Sara's Rating: 7/10
Suitability Level: Grades 6-8
This review was made possible with an advanced reader copy from the publisher through Net Galley.
Publisher: First Second
Publication Date: February 9, 2021
ISBN: 9781250622051 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 7/10, Suitability: Elementary School, Suitability: Middle School, Graphic Fiction, Farming, Culinary, Family, First Second
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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