Braddock, Paige. Stinky Cecil in Operation Pond Rescue.
February 3rd 2015 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
Copy from Baker and Taylor
Cecil is a toad who lives in a pond at the edge of town with his friends Sprout (a frog), Jeremy (a worm), Rayray (a lizard) and Reggie (a fly with a five day life span). After visiting Jeff the free-range hamster in his luxurious treehouse and getting picked up by a hawk, Cecil sees that there is a freeway coming right towards his habitat. Gathering his friends (including Jeff with his spiffy radio controlled car), Cecil tries to stop the construction in various ways, all of which prove unsuccessful. In the end, the group is saved when one of them turns out to be an endangered species.
Strengths: This is a perfect graphic novel for early or struggling middle grade readers. The pictures are simple and clear, and the text well separated and level appropriate. So many graphic novels have tiny, tiny print all crowded together, so even readers who WANT comic style books can't actually read them. This is funny, but has a serious message as well. Andrews McMeel AMP Comics for Kids has really been impressing me.
Weaknesses: Reggie the fly, while realistic, bothered me somehow. If he dies and then comes back, is he still Reggie? Wouldn't he be another fly? My main problem with these is that they are available in paperback format only, and paperbacks just can't take the abuse of circulation.
What I really think: Very fun. If I had 6-10 year olds to buy gift books for, I'd definitely consider these.