Zig And Wikki – hugs and bugs from Toon Books

Published On April 2, 2010 | By Richard Bruton | Comics, Comics For Children, Reviews

Zig And Wikki – Something Ate My Homework

by Nadja Spiegelman and Trade Loeffler

Toon Books

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I wanted to write a story that would have both hugs and bugs— a friendship and gross facts about flies” Nadja Spiegelman in School Library Journal.

Poor Zig – he’s late with his homework and needs to find a pet for the class zoo or his teacher’s going to be calling his parents. Unfortunately for him, his best friend Wikki has been driving the spaceship again and the two friends always get lost when Wikki does the driving.

As luck would have it, the alien pair happen to arrive at a very familiar green and blue planet which has plenty of interesting animals for them to look at and maybe, if they’re not eaten in the process, they might even get to take one of them home for their class zoo – there are flies, frogs and raccoons waiting for them, and Wikki has lots of interesting facts about them all.

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(Fun and facts in Zig and Wikki from Toon Books.)

Zig And Wikki is a new Toon Book with a twist; it’s the first non-fiction book they’ve published. So we get to look at a simple food chain and explore the wonder of nature on our own planet with these two extra-terrestrial visitors. There’s just enough science in the little factoids to interest the readers but it’s never allowed to dominate and things are always kept lovely and light.

New writer Nadja Spiegelman (yes, Art and Francoise’s daughter) does a grand job of laying everything out just right, getting the mix of facts and fun just right. And the art by Trade Loeffler is exactly what it needed to be – simple, fresh and fun.

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(Perhaps not the best way to catch a frog for their pet zoo. But never mind, it’s fun to watch. From Zig And Wiki, published by Toon Books.)

Zig And Wikki is just as lovely as every Toon Book I’ve seen so far, and the science is simple yet informative, perfect little interesting factoids ideal for the age range.

Just like author Nadja Spiegelman says in the interview – it’s all about bugs and hugs, and that just about describes this lovely little science based graphic novel. It’s absolutely perfect stuff, yet again, from Toon Books. The art of making delightful, simple, yet educational graphic novels aimed squarely at an early reader level is a very hard one, but time after time they get it just right.

Except, for this one moment….. one panel in Zig And Wikki that just stopped me in my tracks, as Zig & Wikki lose the fly they’d been chasing….

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It seems bugger is one of those words that really doesn’t mean the same thing over there as it does here. Think of it as a variation on “oh, drat” (See this website for more analysis), but it might have been an idea to edit it out for us foreigners and our children. But even with that little weird linguistic moment, Zig And Wikki is brilliant, wonderful stuff for those first readers and a great first non-fiction graphic novel from Toon Books.

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About The Author

Richard Bruton

– Started in comics retail aged 16 at Nostalgia & Comics, Birmingham. Now located in Yorkshire, he’s written for the Forbidden Planet International Blog since 2007. Specialising in UK Comics and All-Ages comics, Richard’s day job in a primary school allowed him to build the best children’s graphic novel library in the country.

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