What a fun adventure in starting a brand new school as seen through the eyes of a veggie, and a cookie, two highly unlikely friends. This is the first in what should be an adorable series for students in kindergarten to grade three.
Author McMahon starts this story off with the backstory of how Broccoli and Cookie meet each other with a hilarious emphasis on the difference in personalities that we see in Broccoli, the extreme introvert and Cookie, the extreme extrovert. We follow these two through the same experience of starting school, but from these very much opposing perspectives. Cookie is full of excitement and optimism. He can’t wait for the social times of day like recess and lunch but does acknowledge that he can be too silly sometimes. Versus Broccoli who worries about these social times of the day, stresses that he won’t be able to make new friends, and acknowledges that he can be too serious. Both have their strengths and weaknesses which are highlighted, so the reader knows that, everyone no matter their personality, has things to offer the world and also has aspects of themselves they can strengthen and improve.
This book is a very fast and satisfying read. Youngsters can feel accomplished that they’ve finished an entire book after a very short amount of time. Chapter divisions, which aren’t always present in graphic novels, make it easy for reluctant readers to have an additional sense of accomplishment as they finish up sections. The artwork is adorable and simple. There isn’t a lot of detail in these panels, instead the focus is on the characters and their humorous dialogue. Backgrounds are mostly simple white and grey. There’s a lot of emphasis on loud and fun fonts. Dramatic scenes and outbursts pop off the page with patterns and colors that heighten the excitement of the conversation between characters.
Overall, this is such a cute series. It’s a colorful, quick, and fun read. The characters are very relatable with lessons of the differences that exist in personalities, extroverted versus introverted, and how these differences are a strength in friendships. This book also shares helpful insights into the stresses of starting school. The author emphasizes the normalcy of these types of feelings and lets the reader know that many others experience this too and it’s okay. This would be a fantastic series to add to any elementary library collection. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in the second installment, Cookie and Broccolli: Play it Cool.
Cookie & Broccoli, vol 1: Ready for School!
By Bob McMahon
Publisher Age Rating: 5-8
NFNT Age Recommendation: Easy Readers (5-9)