Go Camping

Viking. (WOMBATS!: Bk. 1). Apr. 2023. 96p. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9780593465295.
Gr 1-4–Two wombat besties go camping with humorous results in this early reader graphic novel. On the morning of their trip, ever-prepared Albert calls his excitable best friend Pickles to make sure he has everything he needs. Right away, readers will spot that these two have differing ideas about what their trip will entail; asked if he packed “light,” Pickles responds affirmatively, adding his party light to the pile. Setting out into the woods, the two only go further afield from what either of them expected, with a chance encounter that finally takes them all the way to the cave of the fearsome Woolly Moon Beast. But in this gentle, good-natured comedy, any trip is an adventure as long as these best friends are together, and the ending offers a surprise that is satisfying to all. With clever wordplay, brightly colored visual gags, and an affable cast of animal characters that also includes Platters the platypus and a baby koala, Frost provides plenty of laughs while successfully establishing a woodland world that readers will be happy to revisit in future volumes of this planned series.
VERDICT A sweet, silly series starter. Hand this early reader graphic novel to fans of Brian “Smitty” Smith’s “Pea, Bee, and Jay” series.

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