August 30, 2019

#BookReview: Cassandra Steps Out (Cassandra: Animal Psychic #1) by Isabelle Bottier Hélène Canac @graphicuniverse

Synopsis: Cassandra has a gift. Animals can show her what they're thinking. And she's done keeping her talent a secret. In the first volume of the Cassandra: Animal Psychic series, Cassandra sets out to help pets and their people. 
The trouble is, other parts of Cassandra's life are changing too. Her mom has a boyfriend she really likes, but his daughter can't stand Cassandra. And Cassandra's best friend is about to leave town. Not even her trusty dog Miss Dolly can make things feel okay. When Cassandra gets on the trail of a lost cat, will she be able to help its owners? Or will her first case be a flop?

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About the Author: Isabelle Bottier writes graphic novels for kids and teens. She lives in France.

Hélène Canac illustrates graphic novels and lives in France.

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
My Review: This book was adorable from the cover to the comic/graphic novel inside we zoomed through it twice and wanted to read it again! This book shows kids to use their imagination, being true to yourself, and having faith in you!  I loved that Cassandra's mom know about her powers because in a lot of these stories the parents don't know anything.  

This story had some wonderful lessons in it and I think this one would be great for kids of all ages.  I know I enjoyed it!! 

This is a new author to us but is on our must buy list now!! We can't wait for the next installment.  We would recommend this one to kids who love animals, magic, and colorful illustrations.  

"French author-illustrator team Bottier and Canac bring a new graphic-novel series across the pond with this first volume. At 14, Cassandra is in for some big and largely unwelcome changes. Her single mom is getting serious with a new partner, whose own daughter is not a fan of Cassandra's, creating tension at home. Meanwhile, her best friend has just announced she is moving away. Through it all Cassandra questions whether now is the time to embrace her power. This Cassandra is no harbinger of doom, although she does have a unique gift: the ability to communicate with animals in images and feelings. Compelled to act when she sees a poster of a missing tabby called Titus, Cassandra takes on her first case, using her psychic ability to track Titus down with the help of Miss Dolly, her beloved Old English sheepdog (incorrectly identified in the backmatter as an English shepherd and as having a bobbed tail), and some new friends met along the way. The full-color paneled illustrations are vibrant, with a touch of anime inspiration. Though the tale turns preachy at times, the teenage protagonists grappling with angst and change combine with the fast-paced graphic form to make this a great hi-lo option for younger YA readers as well as middle-grade audiences. Brown-skinned Cassandra's mom presents white, suggesting Cassandra's either biracial or adopted, and her best friend presents East Asian in the illustrations. Cassandra's struggles and triumphs make this an entertaining series opener with broad appeal."―Kirkus Reviews

"Cassandra has a secret: she can make psychic connections with animals! The only people who know are her mom, her dog, and her best friend, but situations keep cropping up where she can help animals that are pets, and she has to decide whether she can reveal her abilities to other people. This story has a lot going for it: a spunky, young protagonist of color, positive portrayal of a non-traditional home life, and oodles of information about taking good care of pets mixed in with the story. The warmly colored, cute, rounded artwork stays nicely grounded in reality considering some supernatural aspects of the story. Simply, it invites the reader into Cassandra's mind. The story also touches upon feelings of jealousy of the way a parent spends their time, as well as how to be supportive of a friend when they're doing something that's good for them but not ideal for you. All of these great themes are packed in with loads of heart and excellent pacing. Any animal lover will devour this in two bites."―Booklist

"Cassandra has some adjustments to make in her life. Her best friend has moved away and her mom is dating a man whose daughter dislikes Cassandra. She's also dealing with the decision to use a special ability to help others. This series starter establishes that Cassandra can communicate with animals and documents her first case as an 'animal psychic.' Apart from her powers, Cassandra is a typical teen. Insecure and quick tempered, she longs for acceptance. The graphic format depicts the story effectively, using thought bubbles to show Cassandra's communication with animals. Illustrations capture emotions and provide flashbacks as Cassandra reminisces about learning about her ability. Pages from Cassandra's 'Secret Notebook' offer more details about the case and about her dog, Miss Dolly. VERDICT A good match for readers who enjoy stories about animals or psychic powers."―School Library Journal

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