Thursday, June 21, 2018

Fox + Chick: The party and other stories by Sergio Ruzzier

Maybe Sergio Ruzzier is growing on me. Maybe not. It's hard to tell.

This comic emergent chapter book (or challenging easy reader, depending on how you look at it) features the familiar trope of odd-couple friends.

In the first story, Fox is trying to read a book when he is interrupted by Chick, knocking at his door. After some back and forth, Chick asks to use the bathroom... but when Fox hears loud sounds and goes to check, he sees Chick having a party with friends! Fox is annoyed and Chick and friends leave.

In the second story, Chick is obsessed with Fox's diet. Fox likes vegetables and soup. But Chick knows that foxes are supposed to eat grasshoppers, moles, chipmunks.... and little birds. Wait a minute... Chick decides it's a good thing Fox like soup after all!

In the final story, Fox is painting a picture. Chick would like a picture of themselves and Fox agrees... but Chick just can't sit still! All three of the stories feature comic panels and Ruzzier's distinctive style. Soft pastels, long noses or beaks, and little tufts of hair mark Ruzzier's art as well as highlight his quirky humor. At the end of the first story, Chick huffs, "I guess he didn't mean it when he said I could use his bathroom." and each story ends with a similarly snarky punchline. It's hard to see the two as friends; maybe they're more like neighbors, with Fox putting up with the annoying Chick. Ruzzier's art doesn't have the crisp lines that I'm used to seeing in emergent chapter books like Branches or Jump-Into-Chapters. He strikes me more as a Toon artist, with more emphasis on the artistic aspect than the plot.

Verdict: An additional purchase if you have a strong interest in graphic novels for your younger readers or a lot of Ruzzier fans.

ISBN: 9781452152882; Published 2018 by Chronicle; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

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