Zig and Wikki land on a planet full of strange creatures like flies, frogs, and raccoons, just when it seems to be lunchtime! Young readers learn about nature in our world thanks to the fascinating Wikki’s Fun Facts woven into every twist of the exciting plot. This innovative science-based early reader comic book is sure to please boys and girls.
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Nadja Spiegelman, who wrote Zig and Wikki’s story, recently graduated from Yale University as an English major. She grew up in New York City where there are few dragonflies and frogs, although there are certainly plenty of houseflies. When she was younger, she loved going to the country, where she collected insects and salamanders and kept them inside her shoe-box bug museum.”
Trade Loeffler, who drew Zig and Wikki, grew up in Livermore, California. Unlike Zig and Wikki, he doesn’t believe flies make good pets. But he did like to collect them when he was a kid to feed them to the funnel spiders that lived in a field near his house. Trade now lives in New York City with his wife, Annalisa; son, Clark; and dog, Boo. He is the creator of the all-ages web comic Zip and Li’l Bit but Zig and Wikki in Something Ate My Homework was Trade’s first-ever work in print.
Can TOON Books do no wrong? Comics luminaries Art Spiegelman and Françoise Mouly are maintaining a consistently high quality for their line of comic-format picture books geared toward the youngest readers. The latest features Zig, a more-or-less responsible cyclopean alien, and his pal Wikki, a somewhat irresponsible computer-screen alien, as they are dispatched on a homework assignment to collect a specimen for the class zoo. And where better to pick up peculiar specimens than the planet Earth? This proves a fine opportunity to get into trouble with the old shrinking ray but also to learn all sorts of interesting information about forest denizens such as flies, dragonflies, and frogs. First-time author Spiegelman weaves the science facts into the breezy narrative cleverly and painlessly, and the art isn’t weighed down with the “SpongeBob aesthetic” that is beginning to prevail in young-reader graphic novels but, rather, balances comedic alien figures with realistic animals to support both the educational elements and the zingy story. Grades K-2. --Jesse Karp
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