Comic Book Review: Spartan & the Green Egg by Nabila Khashoggi and Manuel Cadag
Disclaimer: I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway on the premise that I would review it.
Spartan, an adventurous boy, his three human friends, and his dog Grimm make contact with an alien that manifests itself in the shape of an egg. Using its vast powers, they go on exploration journeys. In this introductory volume, the kids travel to the Amazon rainforest and learn a little bit about the locals, as well as about deforestation.
This graphic novel is intended for kids about eight to ten, and the main character is named after Nabila Khashoggi’s son. It’s very light edutainment, with little sense of conflict or peril. The children have largely interchangeable personalities, and the Egg makes everything just a bit too easy.
I liked that the lumber company employees weren’t characterized as villains, but they seem awfully superstitious and easily tricked. It also seems highly unlikely that anyone will listen to their crazy story about forest spirits, and the locals won’t have an advanced alien and super technology on their side next time. On the other hand, a shaman does show the power to send bad dreams, so perhaps it will work out.
This is one book that could have done with a glossary, or a text page with more concentrated information about the Amazon.
The art is serviceable, but it’s clear the artist has a lot of development potential ahead of them. The lettering is too obviously computer-generated, and takes away from the feel. One amusing bit is that three of the children, including the business suited black kid, wear swimming-suitable trunks under their clothes, despite not having planned to go swimming that day. (The fourth child’s swimgear is never seen–perhaps he wears ordinary underpants.)
It’s an okay introduction to the Amazon for young readers, but will leave many of them hungry for more substantial information. Consult with your local children’s librarian for what might be a good follow-up book.