Get ready to race alongside the Glam Prix Racers! This beginning graphic novel, first in a trilogy written by Deanna Kent with art by Neil Hoosan, is a rip-roaring fun time in a sparkly, candy colored world made up of magical creatures and their very animated cars.
The story kicks off with our announcer, Zyah, showing us the map of the worlds where the Glam Prix is raced. We meet who we’ll be rooting for, the titular Glam Prix Racers, ten teammates who work in pairs together to score the final prize, the Glam Prix Cup. Each team of two is introduced via their skill measurement bars, along with their motto. It’s a quick, memorable introduction to the characters and works well for younger readers who will want to flip back to remember who is the best at what.
Before the race itself can kick off, all team members must check in at headquarters by a certain time or else their entire team will be disqualified. Things really get moving as Mio and Mudwick go up against the clock, a swarm of bubblebees, and mysterious gears on the ocean’s floor to make it to headquarters on time. Once everyone is checked in, Queen Tallulah introduces all the teams participating and lays out the details for the race ahead of them.
The Glam Prix Racers quickly realize winning this season of racing might not be as easy as expected when they meet their newest rivals, the Vroombot Crew. This team of mischievous robots, led by a tiny mastermind, has evil plans to destroy the chances of their opposition and are our heroes’ main foes. There is one member of the Vroombot Crew who really just wants to dance it out, which is a fun running gag through the book.
As the first race of the season begins, readers find more of this magical world coming to life as the racers drive into the Fancy Forest. Coming in first place time wise isn’t a guaranteed win in these races. Teams must also complete side quests along the way. These side quests bring even more characters into the world, including a confused ogre, excitable glittershrooms, and extremely irritated hangry monsters. The introduction of the side quests also give the story more detail, so readers aren’t just reading along with a simple race against the clock.
Even with this race finished, the Vroombots promise their revenge, setting readers up for another visit to the Glam Prix Racers world. At its heart, this story is about teamwork and how friendship can help you always win. Young readers who enjoy playing Mario Kart will find themselves drawn to this enchanting world, as will ones who appreciate a story about working together or ones with fantastical creatures of all sorts. There’s even a fun hidden gnome search at the end of the book, giving readers the chance to go back through the world all over again!
Kent’s writing is silly and fun without being too saccharine and works well with Hoosan’s colorful, bubbly art. The color palette fluctuates with each new challenge the racers face. There’s some great work with darkness and shadows in the spookier parts of the story. The characters jump off the page and will certainly inspire some readers to give drawing them themselves a shot.
Fans of stories with adventure, fantasy worlds, and friendship will find an exciting read in Glam Prix Racers and will find themselves ready to follow the team as they start their next adventure.
Glam Prix Racers Vol. 1
By Deanna Kent
Art by Neil Hoosan
Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, 2021
NFNT Age Recommendation: Easy Readers (5-9), Picture Books (3-8)