Written by Nadja Spiegelman
Art by Trade Loeffler
40 pages, color
Published by Toon Books
Two years ago Toon Books published Zig and Wikki in Something Ate My Homework, an educational comic book about two aliens exploring Earth. Imagine my surprise to see that there’s now a sequel, Zig and Wikki in The Cow, which is just as charming as the first offering. Zig and Wikki in The Cow is a direct sequel to the first book, although readers who haven’t read the earlier graphic novel will still be just fine. Having left Earth with a fly as a pet, Zig and Wikki get worried about the fly’s health and come back to try and make it better. In the process, the pair learn about ecosystems and how each piece of the system has an important duty. At the same time, Nadja Spiegelman mixes in facts about different creatures and organisms, some humor, and a good dose of friendship. It’s great because each reader will get something a little different from the book; some will focus on Wikki feeling like Zig isn’t being his close friend, while others will no doubt me more interested in the idea of the characters getting deliberately eaten by a cow. Since Zig and Wikki in The Cow is aimed at Toon Books’ oldest readers (second and third grade), Spiegelman has to give a slightly more robust plot than some other books in the line, but it works well.
Trade Loeffler’s art is fun as always; Wikki holding up grass so that a cow will eat him is funny, and Zig’s cyclops eye with tentacle arms looks charming rather than creepy. Loeffler once more has his work cut out for him thanks to getting to draw everything from a cow stomach to dung beetles, but he handles it all with equal aplomb, even when drawing an entire herd of cows where it’s just been pointed out that no two have the same pattern. Zig and Wikki in The Cow is another good book from Toon Books; this is a comic that both kids and parents will appreciate. If there are more Zig and Wikki books down the line, I’ll definitely be buying them for the younger kids in my life.