Happy Sunday, guys!
While I'm still not much of a graphic novel reader, Little Dee and the Penguin is an adorable book that came across my radar recently, and I'm super stoked to share it with all of you.
Read on for my thoughts on why this is a quirky, colorful tale of friendship and acceptance, which will make you smile a little bigger as you finish reading.
Published April 5th 2016 by Dial Books
And they’re on the run. A pair of hungry polar bears are after the penguin, and the rest of the team are determined to protect her. They’re not interested in adopting a tiny human. But Dee loves them—especially Ted the bear—and she won't let them go. Instead, she hops on their getaway plane and joins them on an around-the-world adventure.
This hilarious and heartwarming story is the perfect addition to any graphic novel reader’s library.
Such was the case for Little Dee and the Penguin. This is a quirky, unusual tale about a young girl who loses her father, and ends up with an entirely new family of animals. But thanks to the escapades of two hungry polar bears, Dee's new family is now also on the run...
Unlike some graphic novels with a very specific storyline, Little Dee and the Penguin seems to delight in the fact that there's almost no real way to quantify it. It's not just a graphic novel about a little girl who's looking for closure after losing her father.
It's also a great novel about acceptance, and learning how to work cohesively in a group full of unusual, differentiating personalities. Not everyone in Dee's new family likes the idea of the little girl joining them - between the dog, the bear and the bossy vulture, Dee's the odd one out, a fact that the vulture grumpily reiterates several times.
However, circumstances forces the group to stick together, and everyone quickly learns everyone else's strengths and how they add to the overall group at large. Baldwin is exceptionally good at showing how there are those in the group with quiet attributes - e.g. Dee's capacity to offer love - that are just as useful as active attributes, e.g. the ability of the animals to fly a plane.
Though the book has a concrete ending involving the greedy polar bears, it also leaves open the idea that family is there when you need it, and is what you make of it. Between that wonderful sentiment, colorful palette and adorable animals, this quirky, unusual read is a joyous way to spend a few hours.
Highly recommend, full stop.
About the author:
Christopher Baldwin was born in Greenfield, MA, and started drawing comic strips around age 5, comic books around age 12, and webcomics in 1996. He’s a regular contributor to Mad magazine, as well as an illustrator for educational children’s books and newspaper serials. He also paints and cooks a mean pan of penuche fudge.