Monday, February 20, 2012

Nonfiction Monday: Zig and Wikki in The Cow by Nadja Spiegelman, illustrated by Trade Loeffler

I reviewed the first Zig and Wikki last year, when I was first starting to focus on adding more nonfiction to my easy reader section. Since then, I've added a lot of nonfiction - the most popular being the National Geographic early readers. While Zig and Wikki aren't as popular as these, the first book circulates frequently. Zig and Wikki and Benny and Penny are the most popular of the TOON books I've added to the library.

So how does the new Zig and Wikki measure up? Zig is worried about his pet fly, collected at the end of the last book. According to Wikki's information, flies are part of the earth's ecosystem and need to be there to survive. So Zig and Wikki take a trip back to earth, ending up on a farm. They learn about flies, dung beetles, cows, and how they all work together.

The art follows the same format as the previous story, with a combination of simple panels and dialogue bubbles interspersed with Wikki's definitions and information, shown in unbordered panels. The same natural tones are still used with a strong realism in the drawings and some photography and diagrams in the informational sections.

Of course, there are plenty of jokes about cow patties and snide comments from Wikki, who is jealous of Zig's fly friend and exasperated by Zig's habit of getting too caught up in his exploration to notice important things - like when a cow eats their spaceship!

Verdict: Funny and factual, this title will appeal to kids on a number of levels. I think this series will continue to be one of TOON's most popular offerings and I highly recommend it, especially if you are working on adding more nonfiction to your easy reader collection.

ISBN: 9781935179153; Published February 2012 by Candlewick; Review copy provided by publisher; Purchased for the library


Perogyo said...

How can you beat funny and factual? Throw in aliens I guess! Nice find!

Lori Calabrese said...

I just love the Zig and Wikki books! This one looks just as fun as the others.

GatheringBooks said...

Oh wow, would you know if Nadja Spiegelman is related in any way to Art Spiegelman of MAUS fame? This book also looks very beautiful. I love graphic-novel rendering of non-fiction books! :)

Jennifer said...

Yep, I believe she's his daughter - TOON books are gorgeous! Some of them are a little too "arty" and not enough "kidsy" for my taste, but Zig and Wikki are very popular!

Books4Learning said...

I have never heard of this series. Thanks for sharing!