From School Library Journal
Grade 1–2—A mischievous, easy-to-read comic story similar in tone and audience to The Cat in the Hat
. Jack receives a jack-in-the-box as a present. Its manically entertaining occupant, Zack, keeps its owner guessing. Fortunately, when the fun gets out of hand, Zack and his friend Mack save Jack by wanting to trade the lamp they broke for a brand-new one, produced from inside the box. While the story is wacky, the cartoon artwork will appeal to a broad range of lower-level readers. True to its comic-strip roots, without the clutter that some children have a hard time reading, this title is a surefire hit.—Sarah Provence, Churchill Road Elementary School, McLean, VA
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Comic visionary and living legend Spiegelman has ignored the effects of Early Success Syndrome and plowed right ahead, finding different methods of bringing sequential art to new audiences in interesting ways. Attempting to match the extraordinary achievement of Maus (1986) would be difficult, to say the least, so he and wife Francoise Mouly have developed the Toon imprint for very young readers. Balancing the aesthetic of comics with the familiarity of picture books, and even harkening back to Dr. Seuss, Spiegelman has produced a polished and fun story following a young bunny’s struggle with his new jack-in-the-box, which proves to be hyperactive and rather argumentative. With plenty of word repetition and age-appropriate humor to keep pre- and early readers engaged and curious, Spiegelman has taken sequential-art basics and fitted them to his new audience. Like all the Toon books released so far (Benny and Penny in Just Pretend, Silly Lilly and the Four Seasons, and Otto’s Orange Day, all 2008), Jack and the Box is beautifully conceived and executed. Grades K-1. --Jesse Karp