Zig is in trouble. If he doesn’t bring in a pet for the class zoo, the teacher will call his parents! But Zig has his friend Wikki to help. Unfortunately, Wikki has a tendency to play video games while they drive, and they are lost. So they land their spaceship on the nearest planet – something called “Earth.”
Did I mention that Zig and Wikki are aliens?
Zig is roughly boy shaped with one eye and tentacles for arms. Wikki is more like a box with a face. He also has a screen on his forehead that will occasionally show him useful information about his environment. That’s how they know the planet they are seeing is called Earth.
They try one earth animal after another, each animal larger than the last. A fly seems good, a dragonfly better. Maybe a frog? But the frog is as big as they are! Maybe a raccoon – don’t forget to use your shrink ray! Wikki’s screen tells the duo about each animal they encounter.
Toon Books, started by Art Spiegelman, are always a solid choice. They have consistently good art (here they have line drawings with simple coloring), stories appropriate to the age without talking down to a child, and they use the graphic novel format very well. That last one will probably not matter to a kid, but it is always nice to see someone has a grasp on the concept that writing for children does not mean writing for idiots. Published in sturdy hardback editions on quality paper, books in this series are guaranteed to last.
Good for first readers (4 and up).
Zig and Wikki in Something Ate my Homework
by Nadja Spiegelman
Art by Trade Loeffler
Toon Books, 2010
Publisher Age Rating: K – 2nd grade