Reviews for Jack and the Box
"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...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...Jack and the Box is beautifully conceived and executed."
"Framed in one or two sequential panels per page done in flat colors, simple shapes and with an all-dialogue text in balloons, the episode looks like a comic for brand new readers. There's a lot going on beneath the surface, though, and this may have some therapeutic value for older children too."
"This comic gem of a picture book demonstrates Spiegelman's ability to conquer his audience, no matter its constituents...This book choreographs jokes with an exquisite understanding of climax and denouement. As with the other books from this publisher, the design is sophisticated, making elegant use of panels, and easy-to-handle small format and subtle, low-contrast hues. That the vocabulary and the matchup of dialogue balloons to the action are geared to beginning readers is icing on the cake."
--Publishers Weekly (starred)
"A mischievous, easy-to-read comic story similar in tone and audience to The Cat in the Hat...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."
--School Library Journal
"In this hybrid of easy reader (repetition of word and phonemes, short sentences, and an emphasis on one-syllable words), comic (storytelling through dialogue and sound effects, emphasis created by typeface, division of the page into panels), and well-made picture book (creamy paper, classy endpapers), Mr. and Mrs. Rabbit give their son Jack a jack-in-the-box. Jack is frightened by the capricious and startling appearances of Zack, the jack-in-the-box clown, but he gains some sense of mastery and safety by calling Zack 'silly'...Easy readers have been the last territory of reliable coziness in children's books, but this is something new: a primer for our age of anxiety."
--The Horn Book Magazine
"Art Spiegelman--known to many adults for his Pulitzer-Prize winning Maus, a graphic novel about the Holocaust--adds another success to the TOON Books cartoon format for early readers with Jack and the Box...Like the toy itself, the book offers delights and frights, in rapid succession. In this book, readers are observers, frame by frame, of what cannot be, but is, and the little boy knows and enjoys all that happens, a world revealed that he sees but his parents don't."
--The Chicago Tribune