Fish and Wave

HarperAlley. (I Can Read ­Comics Level 1). May 2022. 48p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780063076679; pap. $4.99. ISBN 9780063076662.
PreS-Gr 3–One day, Fish gets up early to try to find a new friend to play with. He meets a little wave and he thinks he’s found a friendly friend, but Wave overwhelms and scares Fish when he suddenly gets bigger and rises. Wave apologizes and explains that rising is a part of his nature. When he rises again, the two work together to find a way to have the ride of their lives. This book not only introduces the friendly Fish character but also serves as an introduction for beginning readers into the world of graphic novels. Billed as a Level 1 comic, with simple art and just enough words to tell its equally simple story, it reads more on a preschool level than elementary. The art does not adequately complement the story; some panels tells readers what characters are doing without showing those characters, and other panels show the characters but have no words describing their actions or intent. As a result, the story has a defined beginning, middle and end, but it still feels incomplete.
VERDICT A decent entry to introduce young readers to graphic novels, but poor use of panels keeps it from standing out.

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