Reggie, Kid Penguin

Little, Brown/Ink. (Reggie: Bk. 1). Jun. 2023. 80p. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9780759557550; pap. $7.99. ISBN 9780759557567.
Gr 1-3–Reggie is the spunky hero of this likely series-starter. A penguin of indeterminate age, he traverses through the short stories in this graphic collection with all the wiseacre personality and flailing energy of Mo Willems’s Pigeon. We see him suffer the indignities of itchy sweaters on picture days and leashed backpacks on trips to the park, but he counters these obstacles with slapstick ingenuity (acting like a dog) and ineptitude (reattaching hair to his scalp with glue). The traditional narratives are broken up by one-page segments called “A Word from the Bird” where Reggie directly addresses readers. Amidst the inanity of Reggie eating raw cookie dough and slurping popsicle soup, there are moments of sweetness. “Roly-Polies” is a funny albeit tender look at the games children play and how they reckon with the greater world around them. Oliveira’s clean illustrative style and madcap pacing call to mind programming from Cartoon Network, a vibe that primary readers will undoubtedly enjoy. Reggie himself seems like a character destined for stardom; his further adventures, be it page or screen, remain highly anticipated.
VERDICT A rib-tickling title that will give the younger elementary set a character to call their own from the graphic novel shelves. Recommended.

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