What do you do when you want to write a review of four books, and are not sure you can make that 250 minimum as total they might have 250 words between them? (I’m estimating as one is a silent comic.) You review two at a time! And I will start with The Fly and Chick and Brain.
The first is probably my favorite, though I was/am not “jumping up and down” over it. It is a black and white, what was called a “silent comic.” Or a wordless graphic novel. Lewis Trondheim’s The Fly by (you guessed it) Lewis Trondheim, was not what I expected as I expected text and some color to the illustrations. Instead, it is wordless with black and white illustrations about a fly who looks more than a little demented (then again, all the good ones are mad) and its adventures. The fly buzzes around; has contact with apples; worms in apples; other bugs, even a spider. It gets into trouble, and out of trouble, and it has a story. Sometimes things were a tad surreal (a little electrocution causes a bit of a scientific phenomenon) and sometimes it is just a fly buzzing around. I am not sure if a kid will like this unusual fly and its journey, but they might have fun making up a story about Fly and friends. Adults might be able to appreciate Trondheim’s illustrations, but kids will also most likely get a kick out of them.
Next, we will do my least favorite by Cece Bell called Chick and Brain: Egg or Eyeball? It is an easier reader/beginning reader (with help) to starting solo reading. Everything about this book was not for me. However, the repetition of the text and theme will help readers move along. It tries teaching manners. There are puns as animals want to “invite” others to lunch (example: a cat asking a bird for lunch). However, the actual story of Chick and Brain (who looks smart but isn’t) arguing over if the item in Brains hand is an egg or eyeball gets wearisome. There is a twist ending, which makes the ending a bit of a surprise and gives it a fresher conclusion. It might work best in a classroom setting (for quiet read time) or for a solo reading at home, but not necessarily for the group setting. Ages six to eight are most likely the best audience. There is at leaset one other title in this series, Chick and Brain: Smell My Foot! But I will be sticking with their book, El Deafo which is for a much older audience.
Wrapping up, these books have themselves an audience, but I was not the right one (or at least not the right time).