As with the first book in the series, Steinkellner excels at bringing Moth to life in The Hungry Shadow, pairing her natural and quippy dialogue with her lively and vibrant illustrations. The combination make for a fun and lighthearted read, supplemented by a positive and heartwarming message for its readers about finding happiness with who you are. Moth's world is populated by a wonderfully diverse cast of characters, not only in race and ethnicity but also skin tones and body types, which has truly been a signature of Steinkellner's work (including her Eisner Award-nominated series, Quince). The core cast of Moth, her mother Cal, her best friend Charlie, and her familiar Mr. Laszlo are complemented by the addition of Moth's adorably awkward teacher, Mr. Gorski-Garcia, who serves as a great example of how even adults can be teased for their unique and off-beat personalities, but that doesn't make them any less special or lovable.
Steinkellner's first Okay Witch was deservedly added to various "best-of lists" for graphic novels for young readers upon its release, and there should be no doubt that The Hungry Shadow will follow suit. I would highly recommend The Okay Witch and the Hungry Shadow for middle grade readers and up, as it is truly a delight to be enjoyed by those who are struggling with finding happiness with who they are - no matter their age.
Creative Team: Emma Steinkellner (writer/illustrator)
Click here to purchase.