Monti and Leo: A Newcomer in Pocketville


Monti’s days are perfectly ordered and happy. He greets the day, heads to the bakery for a baguette, collects his library book and heads to his rock. However a day arrives when it all changes. There’s a stranger in Pocketville.

Mrs Sheep and her customers are disarmed. Then again, this stranger seems to upset Monti’s order. Not only does he take the last baguette, but then the last cinnamon rolls! What’s more, this stranger has the same taste in books as Monti, and even sits on his rock! What is to be done?

Could  Monti find it in himself to welcome Leo? To befriend him in fact? To discover his strengths and skills, things to bond upon? Then again, might Monti influence Pocketville, especially Mrs Sheep, so that the welcome builds?

Bookwagon loves the message, the chapter book storytelling and then the gentle, warm and amusing graphics of Monti and Leo: A Newcomer in Pocketville. 

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Monti and Leo: A Newcomer in Pocketville

Sylvie Kantorovitz

(Walker Books)

Monti’s day is a happy routine, from a morning welcome, to a baguette from Mrs Sheep’s bakery, a library visit, to retreating to read on his rock. It seems his life in Pocketville is tickety-boo in fact. However, what if it’s all upended by the arrival of another? Then again, what if the arrival of this stranger causes huge local unease?  There’s a Newcomer in Pocketville?
Certainly, Mrs Sheep’s not happy. Then again, the stranger seems to have a similar taste to Monti’s for bakery goods. Furthermore, this stranger likes the same books too! Finally, it seems Monti’s rock is the rock the stranger settles upon. Who is this interloper?
Sylvie Kantorovitz introduces a new friendship to the graphic novel world. While we’ve seen how characters like Bird & Squirrel might rub along, contrastingly, it seems that Monti and Leo have many things in common. Then again, might the resistance to Leo’s arrival in Pocketville influence Monti’s behaviour?  Or could it be that Monti’s aware of a chance to welcome a friend, and discover this friend’s skills and talents?
Not only is the storytelling crisp and warm, with nods to Frog and Toad, this Bookwagon reader feels, but then the pictures are beautifully sequenced, nuanced and so caring. Altogether we suggest that Monti and Leo: A Newcomer in Pocketville is a welcome addition to the graphic novel fold, a beautiful choice for newer readers to read, enjoy and read again.


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